EmberClan Book 1: Into the Forest
Series: Emberclan Original
Allegiances: I'm not sure if there are any...
Succeeding: Flame and Crystal
|An abused kittypet enters EmberClan after healing an apprentice. She becomes Hazelpaw, the medicine cat apprentice of EmberClan. This is her story.|
Almost 2 dozen cats stood outside a den a worried look on each and everyone’s face. Inside the den, a white speckled she-cat sat beside a dying, long-haired, golden she-cat. On the other side of the once-pretty feline a reddish-brown tom was applying cobwebs to a wound and feeding the golden cat herbs.
“Please don’t die on me, Melstar!” The white speckled she-cat yowled in desolation. She faced the auburn tom. “PLEASE TELL ME SHE’LL BE OKAY!” She was quivering in fear. “This is her last life you know”
The tom named Sourherb had a despairing look on his face. “Melstar has caught the deadly Blackcough and her battle wounds don’t make the situation any better” he meowed. “Smileheart, I know this may be hard for you, but she probably isn’t going to make it.”
The sick Melstar rose to her paws, feebly. With her last breath she said. “Smileheart it is my time to join Star-Clan. I am so glad to have you as my deputy, as the leader of this clan. And Sourherb,” She faced the reddish-brown tom. “I couldn’t have wished for a better medicine cat. Tell everyone in the clan that I love them but tell my kits that even more. Including you Smileheart and Sourherb. I love you my children. Most importantly, I received a message from StarClan. They said…” She was cut off by death.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!!!!!!!!” Smileheart and Sourherb yowled simultaneously. But it was no use all they could do was look at the lifeless body of their former leader…
“If only I knew her prophecy…” Sourherb said looking up at the clear night sky.
“Are you asking StarClan for answers?” Smileheart asked her brother.
“Yes. They’ve been silent for too long.” He replied. All of a sudden a bright star shot across the sky. Sourherb had a dazed look in eye.
“Have you just received a sign?” Smileheart asked. Sourherb nodded.
“When the healer can no longer be healed help lies in the hazel”
Down in Twolegplace, a lovely long-haired dappled ginger tortoiseshell she-cat was lying in a damp basment treating her wounds. What did I do this time to upset him, stupid owner she thought to herself. She was looking around the putrid room where she saw an opening, a chance to escape. She placed a paw on a purple sparkly collar that read "Ginger" in silver. It was the only thing she had. She slipped out of the opening and onto the yard. The feeling of the cool green grass on her paws as opposed to the hard cold stone. She knew she couldn't stay here. She had to escape into the forest... She took a look at the house where she had once lived. This was it she was heading into the woods....
As she dashed into the woods she came across a young black cat lying down in a puddle of blood. Ginger knew she had to act fast. She grabbed cobwebs to stop the bleeding. She applied the cobwebs to the black cat's wounds like she had done to her own. The young wounded cat raised her head up then her eyes changed from grateful to alarmed.
"INTRUDER!" The she-cat yelled. All of a sudden 4 more cats appeared.Ginger stood in shock as she looked at the cats. Two were fully grown; a white speckled she-cat and a sleek black tom. The other two were about her age; a beautiful silver she-cat with stunning blue eyes and a flame colored tom with green eyes the color of emeralds. Ginger crept down low in worry...
"Calm down, Penguinpaw. If it weren't for this cat you wouldn't be alive," The white speckled she-cat meowed. It was obvious she was highly respected.
"Okay Smilestar. Thank you for saving my life random cat person..." Penguinpaw said.
"It's no big deal. My name is Ginger by the way" She was surprised that she still had all her body parts intact.
"You're on Emberclan territory which is a big no but you saved Penguinpaw's life so it's all okay!" Smilestar said.
"I think it's time for Sourherb to have an apprentice don't you?" The sleek black tom whispered to Smilestar.
"I believe your right, Ravenpelt!" Smilestar meowed. "I'm sorry let me introduce everyone: you've already met Penguinpaw she is one of Emberclan's apprentices. That means she's training to be a warrior." She flicked her tail to the silver she-cat and the ginger tom. "Silverpaw and Firepaw are training with her. Now this" She walked over to the black tom. "Is Ravenpelt, one of our senior warriors we were discussing on what to do with you. We decided to offer you a chance to join Emberclan as our medicine cat apprentice."
"What does that mean?" Ginger asked enthusiastically.
"A medicine cat apprentice is like a regualr apprentice only you learn about herbs and healing and instead of becoming a warrior you become a full medicine cat. Would you like to join?"
"BUT SHE CAN'T JOIN! LOOK AT HER COLLAR SHE'S A KITTYPET!" Firepaw blurted out.
"So? I was a kittypet and you have nothing against me!" Silverpaw meowed back.
The ginger tom got an embarrassed look in his eye "I didn't say I had anything against her! And you're... well..."
Ginger thought about the offer. She got a rush when she was saving Penguinpaw's life! Doing this would be a great and amazing oppurtunity! But things would be a lot different. That and cats would depend on her. She didn't need to think it over any more. Ginger stood up proudly and said "I'll do it!"
"Smilestar is going to lead the way to our camp!" Silverpaw said. Her deep blue eyes were flashing with joy and excitement. "You must be able to scent it"
Ginger sniffed the air she smelt a lot of different cats and it got stronger as they kept walking.
"Here we are!" Smilestar said. The seven cats entered the camp and Ginger's eyes bulged with fascination. Many cats were sitting in a clearing, grooming each other's fur.
"Just after sunhigh, is a time for sharing tongues" Ravenpelt said.
"I'll show you around camp, Ginger!" Silverpaw meowed cheerfully. Ginger could tell they would be very close friends.
"This is the nursery" Silverpaw explained. They walked past a cave protected with thick layers of bramble; however on the inside it had a soft milky scent. It was filled with kits and their mothers. "The care of the kits are shared by all the queens, not just their mothers"
Ginger saw a small dark cream queen trying to get one of the kits off her tail.
"Hello Littlerose," Silverpaw said. "How are the kits?"
"The kits are fine, I can't wait until I have my own." She said with a mrrow of amusement. "Applekit, let go of my tail please"
"Okay lets continue, this is the warriors den where all the brave and strong defenders of our clan sleep. The deputy and senior warriors sleep near the center." Silverpaw said. "The deputy, Willowfang, happens to be my mother."
"Cool!" Ginger said. "Will I get a name like yours?"
"Yeah probably" Silverpaw explained. "You won't get my name but something that describes you. Like I'm Silverpaw because of my silver coat. You will probably be Hazelpaw because of your eye color. I've never seen anything like it so it stands out."
Ginger walked past a den filled with herbs. Inside a red-brown tom was making foul-smelling concoctions. "What is that putrid smell?" Ginger scrunched her nose in disgust.
"Herbs," Silverpaw meowed "As the medicine cat you'll get used to it. Sourherb spends so much time with the herbs that he has their scent. That's where he gets his name."
"Go away now I'm busy!" The auburn tom snapped.
"Okay Sourherb I guess you don't want to meet your apprentice" Silverpaw said with a mrrrow of amusement.
Sourherb seemed to be mean, and harsh. He's going to be MY mentor?, Ginger thought with a shudder.
She heard the voice of Smilestar echo through the clearing. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey join beneath the Skycave for a clan meeting!"
"Follow me," Ravenpelt lead the way to the top of the Skycave. Ginger wondered what he was doing. Smilestar said to join beneath the Skycave right?
"Earlier today, Penguinpaw's life was saved by a kittypet named Ginger." Smilestar meowed loudly. "In gratitude we invited her into the clan as a medicine cat apprentice. Ginger, would you please step forward?" Smilestar asked.
Ginger slowly walked forward, each pawstep packed with anticipation.
"I am here to give you your medicine cat apprentice name," Smilestar announced. "I know Starclan usually does this; however, I feel as if you can have your kittypet name no more"
Ginger shuddered at what the speckled leader had said. Would she not be accepted by StarClan?
"Ginger, from this moment on you will be known as Hazelpaw"
"Hazelpaw! Hazelpaw!" The clan cheered on the dappled tortoiseshell.
"Sourherb," Smilestar faced the medicine cat. "Teach this young apprentice the ways of a medicine cat for when her time comes she will be relied on by the whole clan. I know if I had to trust anyone it would be you."
Sourherb dipped his head respectfully. His amber eyes glowing with pride, respect, admiration, and sorrow? Why would he feel sorrowful after being granted an apprentice and the leader spoke very high of him?
"What should we do now?" Hazelpaw meowed eagerly. "Memorize the herbs? Go looking for some? I know! How about you teach me all the illnesses first and then how to treat them!"
"I was thinking take a nap." Sourherb yawned. Hazelpaw's hazel eyes turned from excited to disappointment. "Why don't you have some fresh-kill and get to know your clanmates?" Hazelpaw simply nodded and slinked out of the medicine cat's den.
"Hi Hazelpaw" Silverpaw purred. "I called it. I knew it would be your name!"
"Whatever!" A voice spat. "I don't want my wounds treated by a kittypet!" He said the word "kittypet" so scornfully, as if it were burning his tongue.
"Ignore Pineclaw" Silverpaw meowed. "He always has thorns in his pelt."
"Why do clan cats hate kittypets so much?" Hazelpaw asked.
"Some cats think they're better than others because they're what we call 'clanborn'. I say that's stupid though! Loyalty comes from the heart, not where you were born or who your ancestors were!" Silverpaw's words grew stronger as she continued speaking. "Look at Willowfang! She used to be a kittypet and now she's deputy!"
A purr came from behind the two young she-cats, "Beautiful," Hazelpaw recognized the sound and scent of Firepaw. "Nice speech there. I believe the whole clan-born thing is stupid. As long as your loyal, nothing else matters."
Sourherb appeared out of his den once more. "Wait, Hazelpaw collect some herbs for me will you?"
Hazelpaw nodded and pranced out of camp. Then she realized something, she didn't know what herbs were good or where they grew!
Sourherb was probably testing her to see if she knew what she was doing. Hazelpaw sniffed the air. A sweet scent drifted from downwind.
"Marigold" She said out loud. She followed the distinctive scent until she found the yellow and orange flowers.
"Intruder" A voice hissed. "Oh wait twoleg and cat scent probably an adventurous kittypet." The cat showed himself. He was a mottled gray tom with a slender short tail. "Hit the road housecat! Don't you know you're on ThunderClan territory?"
"I'm not a kittypet anymore!" Hazelpaw hissed back. The tortoiseshell's hazel eyes were blazing with fury. "I'm the medicine cat apprentice of EmberClan! Can't you see me carrying herbs?"
The mottled gray tom flinched back as if he was stung by a bee. Hazelpaw studied his face and noticed his eyes. They were blue, not like Silverpaw's, these eyes were a brilliant, pale, light blue, the color of a jay's feather. Hazelpaw stared into his beautiful eyes even more and wondered if the cat was blind.
The tabby tom chuckled "See? I'm blind."
Hazelpaw felt a pang of grief. "No need for your pity," The blind cat purred. It was as if he had read her mind, searched her soul. "I may not be able to see with my eyes, but I'm the least blind cat in the forest..."
"Who are you?" Hazelpaw asked.
"Jayfeather." The blue-eyed tom meowed. Hazelpaw knew perfectly why. His eyes were the color of a jay's feathers. "Now... Go back to your territory before I send you back in pieces!"
Hazelpaw flinched, grabbed her leaves, and dashed back to camp.
An almost half-moon was glowing in the night sky. Hazelpaw had just finished listening intently to Sourherb's lessons on poisons and how to treat them.
"Now can you tell me what the most effective herb for most poisons is?" The auburn tom asked.
"Yarrow," Hazelpaw answered almost instantly. "It makes them sick so they can get the poison out of their system."
"Very good," Sourherb nodded. "Now tomorrow is the night of the half-moon and all of the medicine cats shall meet and share dreams with StarClan. This is where I shall introduce you as my apprentice not only to the other medicine cats, but to StarClan as well."
Hazelpaw's heart filled with excitement. "May I sleep in the apprentice den tonight, Sourherb?" Her hazel eyes filled with plea.
Her mentor nodded his russet head and rolled his eyes. "Sure, go mingle with clanmates! They're bound to know you someday."
Hazelpaw jumped with excitement at her mentor's permission. She walked into the cave den and smiled as a mottled pelt jumped enthusiastically around her. It was Silverpaw who looked majorly eager to be with her friend. Hazelpaw spotted a ginger pelt that she noticed as Firepaw's. The flame-colored tom was asleep, his flanks rising and falling.