Status: Complete (read Rising Troubles for understanding)
Allegiances: Coming soon
Preceding: Goldenflower's Love
Succeeding: Ravenfeather's Gift
|The second book in the Twilight Series, Ottersplash's new release really makes you think: what would you do? Ever since his encounter with the horrible, deadly rouges who kidnapped Pantherkit and his friends, the brave grey tom has developed a fear of them. He's afraid to go outside. Always afraid. What will it take for him to escape his fear of the rouges?|
Pantherkit lay curled up next to his mother's side. His denmates tried to encourage him to go outside.
"Come on Pantherkit! Lets go outside and play!" meowed Meadowkit, a tortoiseshell and white she-kit. Since the encounter with the deadly rouges, Dusk and Dagger, Pantherkit was afraid to ever leave his mother's side.
"Come on Pantherkit, get up and go outside. What are you going to do when you become an apprentice? Certainly not staying beside me all the time." said Featherfoot, his mother.
"What if I don't want to be an apprentice, what if I want to be a kit and stay with you in the nursery?" asked the dark gray kit. Featherfoot's green eyes confused.
"What do you mean not wanting to be an apprentice? That is no choice Pantherkit."
But Pantherkit didn't move a muscle.
"Let's just leave the baby then, if he doesn't want to play that's his problem for being scared!" smirked Hawkkit. Pantherkit felt anger well up in his stomach. "I'm not scared you piece of mouse-dung!" Iriskit snarled and pressed her side against Hawkit's chocolate brown pelt.
Pantherkit saw his mother look at him.
"Now Pantherkit, that is no way to act. Run along with your friends and play!" growled Featherfoot as she pushed her son out of the nursery. Pantherkit fell stiff. He was outside! The dark gray kit didn't move; he was too scared. After a few heartbeats, Pantherkit felt a heavy body tumble onto him.
"Let's play fight!" suggested Ivykit. Pantherkit didn't say anything for a heartbeat.
"OK" breathed Pantherkit. As soon as Pantherkit finished the word all the kits fell onto him, showering him with kits.
"See Pantherkit, it's not scary going outside! Remember all that fun we had before we got stolen!" squealed Moonkit. Moonkit was right, it was fun to go outside.
Pantherkit play-fought with his denmates all day, having the time of his life since he was stolen, until his mother and the other queens came from the nursery entrance.
"Come on kits, it's time to come inside." explained Willowfern. "But I want to keep playing!" protested the exhausted Iriskit. Hawkkit licked her ear and nodded.
Violetkit padded up to her sister. "I think Willowfern is right, besides-" She yawned. "-I'm pretty tired myself."
With that, the kits got up and trotted towards their mothers and into the nursery. Pantherkit curled besides his mother and yawned.
"You are tired young one, why don't you go to sleep?" Pantherkit took his mother's advice and closed his eyes for a good night's sleep.
Pantherkit was at the entrance of the nursery, laying down. He was watching his denmates, Iriskit, Hawkkit, Violetkit, Ivykit, Moonkit, Duskkit, and Meadowkit, play out by the nursery.
"Come on, Pantherkit, let's play!" meowed the playful Meadowkit. Pantherkit didn't move, he was too scared. The dark-gray tom stayed where he was. Violetkit stopped play-fighting.
The cream-and-brown she-kit had a questioning look on her face.
"Don't tell me you're scared again! You were out here playing yesterday like a happy kit!" Pantherkit wasn't a big fan of the word scared, and responded hotly.
"I'm not scared! I just don't want to go outside. Aren't you afraid Dusk and Dagger come back and take us away? Maybe even kill us?"
All the kits but Pantherkit looked at each other. The kits broke into a laughter.
"Yeah, like those mongrels are going to come back and steal us, don't you remember? We are protected by the Clan!" snorted Duskkit.
Pantherkit didn't pay attention to Duskkit and walked back to his mother, Featherfoot. The kit curled up next to his mother.
"What's wrong, Pantherkit? Aren't you going to play with the other kits?" asked the tortoiseshell queen. Pantherkit didn't answer. He didn't want to face the fact he is scared if going outside of the nursery. Pantherkit heard tiny paws approaching. It was Meadowkit.
"Come on Pantherkit, please come out and play-fight with me!" Meadowkit's pale amber eyes lurked with sadness. Pantherkit felt compassion for her.
"You promise you won't leave my side?" he asked. Meadowkit purred. She smoothed the top of Pantherkit's head with her small white paw.
"I promise." The kits lay down next to each other on the soft moss next to Featherfoot. Pantherkit thought he saw his mother smile. Pantherkit and Meadowkit fell fast asleep.
Pantherkit was taking his first steps out of the nursery. Everything's going to be fine, he thought.
The dark-gray tom was fully outside. He felt safe with Meadowkit beside him. Pantherkit felt a surge of life flow through him. I forgot how it felt to be outside. It's great, and I like it. Pantherkit soon started to feel a bit of his fear float away, like a leaf floating away in the river.
This was just the beginning of Pantherkit's escape of his fear.
Pantherkit lay curled up beside his mother, Featherfoot. He got up and padded to the nursery's entrance. He glanced outside.
He opened his tiny pink mouth and and sniffed the air. Pantherkit scented kits, but it was stale. Pantherkit sighed, he hoped to play with his denmates today.
One sunrise ago, Pantherkit vowed to leave the bramble nursery every day until his fear was wiped away from him.
Pantherkit heard something pad up to him from behind.
The dark-gray kit turned around with his tiny claws unsheathed. It's Dusk and Dag-... Pantherkit sheathed his claws to realize it was Duskkit that was coming up.
Duskkit's amber eyes lurked with tiredness. When the small bracken-colored kit's eyes spotted his older denmate, they suddenly sparked with satisfaction.
"Hey Pantherkit!" meowed the kit. Duskkit got into a hunter's crouch.
"Let's play hunt!"
Pantherkit stiffened a little, but strained not to show it.
Duskkit's excitement was washed away from his eyes. "Wait, I remember you're scared of going outside."
The tiny tom started to gallop away to join his mother, Willowfern.
Pantherkit squeaked. " Wait! I'll go outside and play with you!"
Duskkit stopped dead and turned his bracken-colored head to stare at Pantherkit as if he heard Pantherkit say he was going to kill him. His face showed question.
"You want to go outside?" smirked Duskkit.
Pantherkit nodded his approval. Both kits then started to play outside of the nursery. They tumbled around until they felt exhausted.
The two toms heard something rustle in the warriors' den. A tortoiseshell and white she-cat stepped outside and trotted to the fresh-kill pile. The she-cat picked out a plump thrush.
The kits instantly recognized who the beautiful warrior was- Goldenflower.
Pantherkit ran towards his aunt. Goldenflower was Pantherkit's mother, Featherfoot's sister. In the corner of Pantherkit's eyes, he noticed another body trot towards Goldenflower.
Duskkit's mother's mate, Rainfur, was Goldenflower's brother. Both kits shared the same aunt. Pantherkit arrived next to Goldenflower followed by Duskkit. Pantherkit and Duskkit jumped on top of their kin.
Pantherkit felt a purr rumble in Goldenflower's throat.
"Run! Pantherkit and Duskkit are attacking! Save yourselves!" The two kits playfully bit down on Goldenflower.
Goldenflower cuffed them gently.
"I think you should be with your mothers now." Goldenflower pointed out.
"But we want to stay with you!" muttered Pantherkit.
Duskkit nodded in approval.
Ravenfeather stepped out of the warriors' den. He was Goldenflower's new mate, formally a loner named Raven. Ravenfeather flicked his tail, showing Goldenflower he wanted her to come to him.
Goldenflower turned her head to her mate and nodded. Her light green gaze then turned back to the kits.
"I have to go now but I'll accompany you to the nursery."
Goldenflower picked the two kits by the scruff and took them back to the nursery. Pantherkit, whom was dangling from Goldenflower's mouth, was happy to be outside.
I'm escaping, he thought.
Goldenflower settled both kits beside their mothers.
"Sleep little ones, for tomorrow will be a whole new adventure for you." Goldenflower licked Pantherkit and Duskkit on their heads and left the nursery.
Pantherkit finished his thought.
I am escaping my fear.
Pantherkit glanced outside the nursery. He was patiently waiting for Duskkit and the other kits to wake up.Pantherkit was halfway from escaping.
Escaping his fear.
Today the kits were going to test if he was eligible to ever go outside again.
Many tiny paw steps approached him. The dark-gray kit turned around.
"Hi, Pantherkit!" mewed Meadowkit.
The she-kit darted towards Pantherkit. He licked her head and she licked his.
"Are you ready?" asked Duskkit.
Pantherkit nodded his approval.
All the kits stepped outside. Surprisingly, Pantherkit didn't stiffen at being outside. Didn't quiver at the thought of leaving his mother's side.
The cool dawn breeze made Pantherkit's dark-gray fur sway in the wind.
It's beautiful, thought Pantherkit.
Pantherkit was snapped out of his thoughts.
"Are you okay?" asked Ivykit.
"Yeah, just thinking." thinking of escaping my fear.
Ivykit and Iriskit took a couple of steps away from the fairly large group of kits.
Iriskit got into a crouch that could of frightened Pantherkit, but didn't.
The crouch reminded Pantherkit of-of Dagger!
"Let's see if you're really scared." Ivykit growled playfully.
Pantherkit was surprised at how well Iriskit imitated the blood thirsty cat. This would surely test if he was still scared of staying outside. But he didn't shrink away from the thought of the evil cat. Didn't imagine his muzzle breathing down his neck.
"Aren't you scared?" smirked the stubborn Hawkkit.
Pantherkit shook his head. "No."
Duskkit and the others stared blankly at the dark-gray tom kit. The kits seemed to believe him.
They should believe me! I'm not flinching away from stupid Dagger!
"That just proves it then." Moonkit looked at her paws. "Pantherkit's not scared anymore."
Meadowkit looked at him, satisfaction lighting her eyes. The tortoiseshell and white kit licked Pantherkit.
"I'm proud." she murmured. Pantherkit purred. Duskkit began the chanting and cheering.
The other kits joined in.
Meadowkit's chanting and cheering seemed to be the loudest for she flooded the other mews of kits.
Featherfoot stepped outside the nursery entrance. Her face was drowsy, but lightened up when she saw the group of kits.
"What are all you doing he-" Featherfoot stopped and looked at her son, her eyes joyous. Pantherkit guessed she didn't expect to see him outside.
"Your outside, Pantherkit. I knew you would come out eventually." The tortoiseshell queen padded to her son and licked the top of his dark-gray head.
"Thank you." breathed Pantherkit. That whole afternoon, Pantherkit spent his time play-fighting with his denmates.
Pantherkit let out a sigh of relief.
I escaped my fear. Like a fish swimming away from a RiverClan warrior's jaws. I escaped. I have completed my task.
This lightened the heavy weight in Pantherkit's soul. He was free.
The next few moments, before it was time to sleep, most of his mother's family came to congratulate him.
Goldenflower, Pantherkit's aunt; and Nightfern were among the first cats to visit him.
Goldenflower had said that she was proud of him and should let nothing dull his path.
"Let's sleep together in the corner of the nursery." suggested the wide eyed Meadowkit. She had sat beside Pantherkit while all the praising was going on.
Both kits left the clearing and entered the nursery. Pantherkit found a spot that was being bathed by the sun. Pantherkit and Meadowkit both passed forward and lay down.
Meadowkit nestled beside Pantherkit.
Pantherkit was relieved to know he could finally sleep without the dreaded thought of Dusk and Dagger or the whole of DeathClan, coming to kill him or his precious Meadowkit.
But he would soon realize that death is no more than a whisker's length away, and death can take something beloved away.