Book 1: Warriors: The Shadow Outcast

I am human, or I was. I was fine, and now I'm cursed with insanity. They say I can do great things, but all I've done so far is kill. Sacrifice can only get me so far, and the feeling of exile and outcast isn't new to me. Is this what you wanted StarClan?

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20. Chapter 18

Chapter Eighteen

Rainfur and Sweetpaw were quiet as they walked toward the fallen tree, hoping not to alert the cats in the island. It was sunhigh, and as burnt ground flaked beneath their paw, Rainfur hoped that his welcoming would not be death. He hoped they would just see him as, well, a loner, which was what he was.

Sweetpaw seemed worried as well. She’d told him of how she’d said goodbye to her family, and now she was going to have to see them one last time. It was hard for a cat her age, Rainfur knew.

They both stopped at the edge of the fallen tree, hoping the other would go first. Rainfur then nodded to Sweetpaw before jumping onto the log and swiftly walking across, aware of the unwelcome glares and hostile hisses he was going to get.

When Rainfur jumped off of the log and onto the island floor, he heard gasps of all sorts. Hope, fear, and curiosity of the voices he heard, but mostly it was anger.

“He’s back!” one cat gasped.

“Is he going to hurt us?” asked one cat aloud.

“Mama! Help me!” Rainfur looked at the cat who’d said that, and he wasn’t surprised to see Duskkit backing away toward Reedfeather, who glared at Rainfur.

“Sweetpaw!” called another cat, making Rainfur aware of the she-cat behind him. “You’ve come back!” Rainfur looked to Softstreak, Sweetpaw’s mother.

“Have not!” Sweetpaw hissed, her eyes narrowed. “I’m only coming back because of Rainfur. I will not return to a bunch of scaredy-cats!” Rainfur chuckled a bit, but then noticed the four leaders standing before him, all looking quite confused, and angry.

“We have exiled you, Rainfur, did you not understand?” asked Sharpstar icily. “You shouldn’t have come back.”

“I did not come back,” Rainfur growled, his tail twitching as he narrowed his eyes. “Consider it a visit, the last you shall see of me.” Sharpstar then glanced to Sweetpaw, who was behind Rainfur, hiding.

“I see you’ve forced Sweetpaw to follow you,” Sharpstar hissed, his eyes also narrowed.

“I have not,” Rainfur growled. “She is the other reason I’ve come. Right now, if she wants to, she may stay. If not, then that is her decision.”

“None of this matters,” Rosestar hissed, ears pinned back toward her head. “You were exiled! You should be killed for returning!” Rainfur looked to the young leader, his eyes cold and emotionless. He was hiding it, hoping not to show the billions of feelings he was trying to keep inside.

“I should be killed for telling you some good news?” asked Rainfur. “I hardly think that’s a reward for watching out for the Clans, even though you’ve exiled me unfairly.” Rosestar hissed angrily, her eyes narrowed.

“What news?” asked Bravestar, his eyes filled with sorrow and curiosity.

“ThunderClan’s territory is the only one that is still in flames,” Rainfur explained. “According to the Twolegs, that land shall be fire-free by tonight, and then tomorrow is when the Twolegs will be gone. WindClan territory is safe from them, as is RiverClan’s. Those two Clans are free to go home, but ShadowClan might want to watch out.

“Prey is also another issue,” Rainfur continued. “On my way there, I saw nothing. I’m afraid you won’t see prey for quite some time, though some underground prey might show up. That is all.” Rainfur then dipped his head respectively, hoping to show them all that he wasn’t deceiving them.

“How do we know we can trust you?” asked Sharpstar angrily. Rainfur flicked his tail toward his scar.

“Ask StarClan,” he growled. “They should know. They should know everything about me, actually, since they’re the reason I’ve been sent here, given this scar, and exiled. I would say it was all their fault, but I have to remember, we all make our mistakes.” Rainfur then stood up before walking to Robinwing, hoping not to get killed in the process. Most cats stayed quiet as he walked up to his mate, though some whispered.

Robinwing was shocked. She looked at him as if he were God, and she was the villager. It was strange, but Rainfur would live with it to say goodbye.

“Sorry I have to leave so soon, Robinwing,” Rainfur whispered into her ear. “I promise I’ll see you when our—your kits arrive, no matter where I’m banned from. Please remember that Rain always comes after a fire, and ash is the only thing left.” Rainfur then gave his mate one last smile before walking away, unable to stay any longer. Sweetpaw followed him after saying goodbye to her brother again.

Rainfur was just about to get back onto the fallen tree when Nightstar caught up to him. The young Warrior looked confused as the elder leader talked to him.

“If you ever choose to come back, you are welcome in my territory,” Nightstar explained. “I’ve spoken to my Clan, and they agree. Just keep this in mind thus you need to come back.” Rainfur nodded, uncertainty in his eyes.

Too bad, the demon suddenly said. We’re not comin’ back, and this is why.

Stop, you idiot! Rainfur yelled. His eyes narrowed with anger as he felt the demon move, making his scar glow a brilliant blue. Nightstar took many steps back as something shot into the sky. The star of fire returned, though this time it was blue. The demon laughed aloud for all to hear, making everyone scream in terror.

“Good-bye, you idiots!” the demon screeched, a certain insane touch to it.

“Shut up and stay put!” Rainfur yelled, making everyone really confused. He was too, for he hadn’t really expect his thoughts to be said aloud.

“But I want to terrorize them!” the demon whined. ”Besides, we’re never going to see them again! Why can’t I?”

“Just because I hate them doesn’t mean you can scare them or hurt them, which is what I know you were planning to do.” Rainfur hissed.

“Correction!” the demon sang. ”I can’t hurt them because StarClan’s here, so technically I never wanted to hurt them.”

“We’re leaving, so stop it!” Rainfur growled. ”You’ll get to see a lot of memories soon, so just stay excited about that, will you?” The demon sighed.

“Fine, fine,” it hissed, clearly disappointed. ”I guess you’re right. . .” The star then disappeared, and everything went back to normal.

Rainfur then leapt onto the fallen tree and walked across, Sweetpaw following him. This was the last time for a moon that he would see the Clans, and really, he was only seeing Robinwing a moon from now.

As Rainfur jumped down from the log, he waited for Sweetpaw to catch up to him.

“Sweetpaw, this is your last chance,” Rainfur murmured. “Would you like to return to the Clans, or come to me?” Sweetpaw shook her head.

“I want to come with you, Rainfur,” said Sweetpaw, reassuring herself with a nod. “You’re the bravest cat I know.”

“You’re braver,” said Rainfur with a smile.

*

Rainfur looked back to the Clan territories as he pass the WindClan border, stepping on land he’d never seen before. He sighed, hoping silently that he would get to come back, instead of dying out in the real world as he’d thought was going to happen.

“Come on, slow poke!” Sweetpaw called back to him. “We need to hurry if we’re going to make it to wherever you’re planning by sundown.” Rainfur looked to the small apprentice.

“I’m coming,” said Rainfur, walking up to Sweetpaw as she looked at him with excitement in her eyes. “Why are you so impatient?”

“It’s not every day I get to go on an adventure!” said Sweetpaw, almost jumping up and down in happiness. “Where are we going, anyway?”

“My first home,” said Rainfur honestly. “There’s something I have to check.” Sweetpaw then walked beside him, prancing as she looked around. They were entering the horse place, and that meant that there would be horses and cows, two things that Sweetpaw had never seen.

As they passed a few pastures filled with bay and chestnut horses, Sweetpaw hid behind him, curious, yet cautious of the large animals so close to her. Rainfur rolled his eyes.

“Sweetpaw, these animals are called horses,” Rainfur explained.

“Aren’t these the animals Twolegs ride so they can pretend to have four legs?” asked Sweetpaw, still hiding.

“Yes, but originally, when they didn’t have monsters to ride in, they rode the horses,” Rainfur explained. “They won’t hurt you, so you shouldn’t be afraid. To be honest, they’re more scared of you. They were afraid of your ancestors, after all.”

“Really?” asked Sweetpaw, standing up straighter. Rainfur nodded, a smile on his face.

“Yes,” Rainfur replied. “They were hunted by many things, and because of this, the horse runs from any danger. That’s the only thing it can do, since it doesn’t have claws or fangs to defend itself.”

“Wow!” said Sweetpaw in amazement, her eyes wide with wonder. “That’s so cool! I wonder if they’ll run if I try to chase them. . .”

“Maybe, but don’t,” Rainfur growled. “Those horses can kick, and if they manage to hit your head, you’ll die.” Sweetpaw nodded, though she didn’t really seem to be paying attention.

Rainfur just rolled his eyes and started walking away, forcing the young she-cat to follow him. He felt like a father as he explained the things that they passed. It was soothing to know he wasn’t alone, and when he talked to her he forgot all about being exiled. It was so nice, and when he looked at Sweetpaw, he felt alive. Like there was more to living then just being there.

“Rainfur,” said Sweetpaw then. “I never remembered the Clans saying that this was all close to Twoleg nestS. They said that this just led to land. Did you live on plains like this?” Rainfur shook his head.

“I lived with the Twolegs mostly, though not really in their nests or anything,” Rainfur explained. “It’s hard to understand, but you’ll know when we get there. The nests are new, by the way. They were made soon after I was born, and that’s when my family moved. It was a very good place to stay, with the streets so clean.” Sweetpaw tilted her head, clearly confused.

“What do you mean, ‘was’?” she asked. Rainfur looked to the ground, letting the memories pass through his mind. Alfie’s cry for help and the laughs of the enemy. Rainfur closed his eyes and shook his head before looking ahead to the horizon.

“It became a place to torture, really,” said Rainfur. “My family moved away, but my brother and I always used to stray over to that side of town. . .it had become a place where mean Twolegs and animals gathered, all of them having a thirst for blood. That’s not where we’re going, though. We’re going to a place just past the killers. I promise that I’ll keep you safe as we go through there.” Rainfur gave a brave smile to Sweetpaw who nodded and walked on.

Rainfur smiled as he finally found a den, which he’d been looking for. It was really just a thick hedge sheltering a large patch of grass, but it was at least something.

“Come on,” said Rainfur, flicking his tail toward the hedge. “Go and stay over there. I’ll hunt. It shouldn’t be that hard around here. . .oh, and remember, if you see any trouble, just run and yell. I’ll come and get you.” With a reassuring smile, Rainfur then turned around and tried his best to look for a mouse or two.


 

Run!

The thorns are deep!

Run!

The stars have made a mistake!

Run!

The Saviour is late!

Run!

“You honestly think that you could get away from me that quickly?” asked the demon, making Rainfur open his eyes. He was sleeping, he knew, but the demon was there, making him alert for anything funny.

“I don’t want to talk to you!” Rainfur hissed, narrowing his eyes at the memories that had left him. The demon just continued to smirk, his dark blue eyes showing excitement.

“It’s the only way you’re going to live, Rainfur,” the demon growled. ”It’s the only way your pathetic past will truly be forgotten. You must remember Cheetahfur’s warning, and remember what the four leaders told you before you became a cat.”

“This isn’t true!” Rainfur yelled, his fur bristling. “I don’t want to rely on you!”

“You won’t be,” the demon reminded Rainfur. “You will only need me when your strength is lost.” Rainfur shook his head.

“My strength will never fail me!” said Rainfur, narrowing his eyes. “I will never have to use you ever again now that I am not going back to the Clans.” The demon smirked, his tail twitching.

“You have no idea what you are about to witness,” said the demon. ”Oh, and don’t forget, you are still a part of the Prophecy, even if you aren’t the prophecy cat. That is not the last you shall see of the Clans. They will need you, and you shall come with my strength leading you. It’s only a short time away, and boy do I wait for the day that Cheetahfur’s warning come true.”

Before Rainfur could reply to that statement, he woke, and no matter what he tried, he could not go back to sleep.

*

By sunhigh the next day, they had gotten to the city. They hadn’t eaten since that morning, but Sweetpaw didn’t seem to care. She was too excited to finally see all the sights of the city to be hungry. Rainfur smiled, happy to watch her excited state.

Rainfur was too busy swimming in the memories of him and Alfie, playing in the grass. They’d run down here after sneaking away from their parents. Alfie would eventually do something to get them into trouble, of course, and then the police would make them go back to their parents. This made Rainfur smile, remembering that. It was soothing.

Of course, when they got to the buildings, Rainfur found there so much graffiti that he couldn’t find the original wall colour. The streets were littered with trash and nothing was clean. This was just the bad side of town, the part that Alfie and Rainfur both had to get past to get to the forest.

“Be careful,” Rainfur called to Sweetpaw, who wasn’t even getting an inch away from him. “This place is where I got into trouble, the reason one of my brothers is dead.” Rainfur gulped as a knot formed in his throat, remembering the mistake that cost Alfie his life.

After getting the memory out of his head once again, Rainfur continued to walk with an alert look. He didn’t want Sweetpaw getting hurt because of him. That would be torture to him.

Finally, the ally they were in ended. Another Ally showed up, but as Rainfur and Sweetpaw looked into it, they found it was just a dead end. Rainfur, however, knew it was much more than a dead end.

Rainfur remembered running down this ally in the dark as they sun started to go down. Alfie had just realised the time and then forced Rainfur to follow him. When they got to this point, however, they met the ‘Fire Stars’. It was a gang of many men, though they were mostly young adults.

When the gang had seen Alfie and Rainfur, they’d acted as if they’d found gold. It didn’t take long for the gang to start threatening the seven year-old boys, but unfortunately for them, the cops were looking for Alfie and Rainfur. The gang then just told them never to return, or they’d regret it. And then after that, Rainfur and Alfie avoided this area, taking the long route around.

“Rainfur?” asked Sweetpaw. “Are you okay? You seem tired.” Rainfur blinked away the memory before looking to Sweetpaw and smiling.

“No, I’m fine,” Rainfur replied. “Just lost in a memory.” Sweetpaw then smiled before turning her attention to something else.

“Hey, what’s this?” Sweetpaw asked, bouncing up to a small chain. Rainfur followed the chain until he saw a dog on one end and a kennel on the other.

“Sweetpaw! Stop!” Rainfur yelled running up to her. However, it was too late. The dog had already woken up, finding Sweetpaw as an easy bit of prey.

The dog lunged toward, baring its teeth. Sweetpaw screeched, her eyes filled with fear as the dog snapped at her. Rainfur thought quickly before leaping in front of Sweetpaw and slashing his claws down the dog’s muzzle. The dog let out a loud yelp, probably alerting every human in the city.

“Sweetpaw, run!” Rainfur yelled as the dog growled at them. Sweetpaw was hesitant, shocked yet worried about Rainfur. “I’ll catch up, just run!” Sweetpaw nodded, finally understanding, and then ran off.

Rainfur hissed at the dog after Sweetpaw left, his claws unsheathed and his fur bristling. The dog did the same, though he showed his teeth much more clearly.

“No one tries to kill one of my friends and gets away with it!” Rainfur hissed, his eyes narrowed. As he looked at the dog, he found out that it was a pit bull. This meant that it was the Fire Stars’ dog, and that meant that it was probably waiting for them right now.

The dog then lunged, catching Rainfur by surprise. His reflexes made him jump back, but the pit bull’s teeth still ended up sinking in his skin a bit. Rainfur yowled, listening to the yells that some humans gave as he got louder.

Rainfur then pulled back, forcing the dog to let go of him. The large pit bull’s chain was tight as it reached the maximum length, making Rainfur sigh with relief.

The dog suddenly lunged forward again, moving the kennel it was attached to. Rainfur instinctively jumped backward, though by that point he was backed up against the wall. There was nowhere for him to go, meaning that he could consider himself dead.

“That was Rex!” yelled a man from a distance.

“He’s found something!” yelled another man. “Let’s go!”

Crap! Rainfur hissed to himself. Not only is a dog after me, the humans are as well! This is exactly what I was trying to avoid! Rainfur sighed, but got ready to lunge as he got into a fighting position.

Then, just as he was about lunge at the dog, the demon interrupted, Ooh, a fight. Care if I join? Rainfur hissed to the demon before lunging, finding extra strength that he didn’t know he had.

Rainfur ended up running into the dog, and then as he slashed open a large wound into its flank, he found speed. Rainfur ran away as the dog yelled, finding even more speed than before. He managed to dodge the humans through their legs, and then start running while following Sweetpaw’s scent.

When Rainfur found Sweetpaw, he saw her poking her head through a hole of a wooden fence, calling him over. Rainfur smiled as he squeezed through, pushing her out of sight. He made sure he could not be seen either before sighing with relief.

“Oh, thank StarClan,” Rainfur breathed. “I thought I was done for.” Sweetpaw nodded as he noticed her breathing heavily as well.

“I thought so too,” Sweetpaw responded. “That fox made such a loud racket—I wouldn’t be surprised if Frostpaw heard it.” Rainfur smiled before listening to the dog and humans run by, yelling franticly. A few moments passed before Rainfur replied.

“That thing was a dog, not a fox,” Rainfur told her. “They’re of the same family, just like we’re in the same family of a Tiger and Lion. The humans prefer dogs, though, for personal reasons. That dog, however, was trained like we are. Instead of being trained to become a loyal Warrior, though, it was trained to become a killing machine. The Fire Stars did it, I’d bet.”

“Those Twolegs are mean,” Sweetpaw growled. “Are all of them like that?” Rainfur shook his head, smiling.

“Only the evil ones are,” Rainfur reassured her. “The Twolegs are mostly nice, like the ones I knew. They loved me, but I didn’t really want to live the life of a kittypet.” Sweetpaw nodded, listening to ever word. “Now, where are we?”

When Rainfur looked around, he recognized the place immediately. It was a junkyard, the only one in the city too. This was the place many cats lived, and also where a lot of stray things gathered.

“We’re almost to the nicer part of town,” Rainfur told her. “We need to find a way out of here and then get to city, which isn’t far. I think we’ll sleep right now, though. Fighting that dog was a lot of work.” Sweetpaw nodded in understanding before prancing over to a monster.

“Why are these monsters so old-looking?” asked Sweetpaw. “Are they asleep?” Rainfur shook his head, happy to show her what they were.

“These monsters are old, but no, they’re not sleeping,” said Rainfur. “They’re. . .dead.” Sweetpaw then widened her eyes and jumped away, wrinkling her nose in disgust.

“You mean we’re sleeping in a monster grave?” asked Sweetpaw. “You’re mouse-brained!” Rainfur shook his head, feeling very smart at the moment.

“They don’t smell bad,” said Rainfur, walking up to a large white truck. “Plus, it’s not like their bloody or anything. It isn’t that bad, trust me.” Sweetpaw was edging closer, but she still seemed unsure. Rainfur then rolled his eyes before jumping onto a large bucket and then into the car.

“Rainfur!” Sweetpaw shrieked as he disappeared into the truck. Rainfur laughed as he landed on the comfy cushion of the passenger’s seat.

“I’m okay, Sweetpaw,” Rainfur insisted, making sure she could see him through the window. “Come on, it’s not going to eat you. Just jump up like I did.”

Sweetpaw then lowered her head with fear before slowly making her way over to the bucket. She leaped onto it, making sure to keep her balance as the bucket wiggled. Sweetpaw looked up to him, uncertainty in her eyes.

“Are sure this is okay?” Sweetpaw asked. “I’m afraid. . .”

“You’re fine, Sweetpaw,” Rainfur insisted. “Just jump.” Rainfur then backed away and waited for her, hoping that she would jump.

Finally, Sweetpaw came flying up to him, landing on her paws. She stayed there for a few moments, frozen with shock, before looking up to him.

“Don’t you ever. . .make me do that. . .again,” Sweetpaw breathed, panting heavily. Rainfur rolled his eyes before jumping into the driver’s seat.

“You sleep there while I sleep here,” Rainfur told her. “We’ll start at dawn tomorrow.” Sweetpaw nodded before looking around with a curious eye.

“What’s that strange round thing for?” asked Sweetpaw, looking at the steering wheel.

“It’s for controlling the monster,” Rainfur told her. “It’s very important to have. Without it, monsters cannot be used.” Sweetpaw tilted her head.

“So if they were born without it, they can’t be used?” asked Sweetpaw. “Don’t the monsters like it that way?” Rainfur chuckled before shaking his head and curling up on the seat.

“Go to sleep, Sweetpaw,” Rainfur told her. “You’ll need your rest.” Rainfur then closed his eyes with a smile on his face, knowing that he was close to his home.

There was a feeling of excitement within him as he thought of what he’d do when he saw Daniel. He was so anxious to see his brother, and even his father, if it was possible. He wanted to visit all of the sights that he and Alfie used to play at. He wanted to relive his old life, remembering the good and bad things that happened. It was just so different, but no matter what, he wanted to remember Alfie again.

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