Rainpaw dragged his feet through the snow as he carried the three kits. The icy wind blew toward him, making him have to look at the ground to go on. Rainpaw’s wounds had stopped bleeding because the air around him had basically frozen the blood so that it couldn’t ooze out. He was still in pain, though, and it was slowing him down.
The kits were fine, though the golden brown one kept trying to get out of Rainpaw’s grip. The white one was rather still and the black one moved a bit but only every few seconds. They seemed too tired from shivering to struggle too much, which was somewhat a good thing.
Rainpaw’s mind was racing—no matter how he thought he could get out of this, he was proven wrong. These kits meant the world to him at the moment, so of course he wasn’t going to give up on getting the kits to RiverClan. He couldn’t stop in ShadowClan, they’d think he was a rogue trying to steal kits and send him out if not kill him first and keep the kits for themselves— well, Robinpaw had told him that had happened when Brokenstar was leader, whoever that was.
He was running out of options, and he could tell that the kits were getting colder than he was. Rainpaw knew this was bad because he’d actually been to a vet camp when he was younger and still human. Rainpaw knew from that camp that hour old predator animals had to be kept safe and warm by their mother to get stronger because they couldn’t see or hear—their nose was the only thing they used.
The kits started squealing then, crying for their mother’s warm milk. Rainpaw sighed but then lied down in the cold snow and curled his body around them to warm them up. They immediately quieted down as he started giving them his body heat, making him smile. Rainpaw wasn’t doing anything really helpful at the moment, but at least he was warming up the kits so that they could live a bit longer.
After about fifteen minutes Rainpaw gathered the kits scruffs into his mouth and painfully stood up. His legs were numb but he didn’t care much. Rainpaw just focused on moving forward.
Rainpaw’s body was slowing down, he could tell, and it was probably because of the blizzard that just kept getting worse. The snow was piling up as the wind blew the snow toward him, and he could tell that it was not going to stop soon.
Instead of thinking of the snow and the pain, Rainpaw decided to change the subject. He started thinking of back when he was human, when things were normal. Rainpaw tried to find things he missed, but the only things he missed at all were Daniel and Alfie. His mother was never there and neither was his father, add in the fact that everyone thought he was a creepy tattoo freak and you could basically say that he hated his old life now, and that he never wanted to go back.
Yes indeed. Rainpaw knew he would never miss the human Holiday’s such as Halloween or Christmas. He wouldn’t miss the rush through life or the glares and whispers. He wouldn’t miss his over-worked father or his unproductive mother. He wouldn’t miss the shadows that he lived in to keep everyone else away—he wouldn’t. This life was better, much better, and he seemed to have finally accept it.
Rainpaw’s ears grew alert as he realised he was now by the lake entering ShadowClan territory. He made sure to stay in the two tail-length span that ShadowClan couldn’t claim as their territory. He knew it was already moonhigh but still. If ShadowClan knew that he was hauling kits over to RiverClan, he’d never be let go. They’d tell everyone and then the kits would be known as half-Clan kits that is, if they even lived.
Rainpaw shook his head before focusing on the road ahead. The slight hum of the snow was making him very tired, and all he wanted to do was lie down. He didn’t even notice when he collapsed, only that he was suddenly clouded with darkness.
“Who is he?” asked an unfamiliar voice then.
“He reeks of ThunderClan!” yowled another cat.
“Yeah, but there’s something weird about him. . .” murmured a young she-cat.
“He shouldn’t sleep in the snow like this,” growled a much older cat. “Especially with this blizzard still going on. He must have been exiled to be as crazy as this.”
Rainpaw’s eyes flickered open as he woke, realising that the cats talking about him were ShadowClan cats. He shook his head a bit as he stood up, guarding the kits from view of the other cats. He stared at the ShadowClan cats hard before narrowing his eyes and giving a low growl.
The cats stared, all of them looking a little worried and a little curious. Rainpaw glared back, though with his muscles screaming at him he couldn’t really do anything.
“Excuse me,” said the largest tom. He was a dark brown with intense yellow eyes. “But why exactly aren’t you in ThunderClan territory?” Rainpaw didn’t reply. He just stared back, his light blue eyes drooping. His body was still tired, but he couldn’t fall asleep again. It was already dawn and his wounds weren’t in the best shape.
A squeal from one of the kits told him to get a move on. The two she-cats of the group gasped as the heard the kits, and watched with shock as Rainpaw let them see the kits.
“What are you doing with kits in this weather?” demanded the younger white she-cat. “They’re cold!”
Rainpaw sighed, feeling it was probably best to answer her. So he picked up the kits by their scruffs and then started to walk away. The patrol caught up to him of course and the younger she-cat got in front of him as if she were trying to stop him.
“You’re taking them to RiverClan?” asked the young she-cat. Rainpaw nodded. “But why?” Rainpaw sighed, then let the kits down to answer her.
“Their mother demanded it of me,” said Rainpaw. His throat was dry and sore when he spoke, and his voice sounded as if he’d been dead for moons. “Their mother is a great friend to me, and if this is what she wants I need to do it.”
“These kits will never make it!” the she-cat stated. She then examined Rainpaw a bit. “You’ll never make it!”
“I don’t care what happens to me,” said Rainpaw simply. “It’s the kits that I care about. They need to get to RiverClan, and that’s where they’ll end up, even if I have to die first.” The young she-cat’s eyes widened before she was pushed away by the largest tom.
“Why not take them to ShadowClan?” asked the tom. “At least let us heal you and get the kits healthy enough to travel.” Rainpaw paused, considering it, but then shook his head.
“I can’t,” Rainpaw replied. “I can’t wait any longer, my Clan will get worried, and I won’t let your medicine cat give me herbs that are rightfully yours. I just need to hurry, and maybe if I do I’ll make it to RiverClan before moonhigh.”
“Our medicine cat has plenty of herbs,” growled the largest tom. “And you need them. Just come back with us and we’ll take care of the kits.” Rainpaw narrowed his eyes then, noticing that his tail was lashing furiously.
“No,” Rainpaw said firmly before turning toward the kits. “I must get to RiverClan without any help—it is what I’ve vowed to do. It’s only honourable that I carry out the vow that I made with my friend.”
“Honourable, eh?” growled the largest tom. “Would it be honourable if you died? Would it be honourable if you failed? Would it be honourable if these kits died? Would it?”
“No,” Rainpaw hissed through clenched teeth. Anger and fear were rising, and with his back to the tom he was happy that he had self-control.
“Then why do it?” asked the tom. “I don’t see any chance that you would live through this, and the kits are extremely hungry. Do you even know if RiverClan will accept these kits? They’re from ThunderClan for StarClan’s sake!”
Rainpaw turned his small body quickly and then lunged at the tom, claws unsheathed. The tom hadn’t been expecting this, and therefore Rainpaw pinned him down easily.
“I’ve failed before, mouse-brain,” Rainpaw hissed, trying hard not to let his anger loose. “I know how it feels. I know I have a good chance of dying and I know that this is suicide. However, with the life that I have left, I want to make someone happy and I want to make them feel relieved rather than make them feel hurt and angry. I’m cursed with a star-shaped scar to remember, and trust me you do not want to know what I do when the memories return. I’m doing what I can with my life of broken glass shards, so go lecture to someone else about how dishonourable it is to die doing something stupid like saving lives.” Rainpaw was then shivering with anger, but he was keeping it down well enough. He then slowly stepped off of the tom and looked at the kits at his feet.
It was silent. The three other cats—two she-cats and an apprentice looking tom—were quiet with fear in their eyes while the largest tom that was on the ground didn’t want to move.
“Just keep in mind that I’ve killed, and that if you give me a reason, I will do it again.” Rainpaw then picked up the kits and headed back over to RiverClan, leaving the frightened patrol behind.
Rainpaw had actually made it to RiverClan territory without dying, surprisingly enough. The kits had made him stop a few times but it was dusk and he was already there. Rainpaw was proud, though he really couldn’t show it. His wounds had opened again once it got warmer, and his muscles weren’t in the best shape.
Rainpaw hadn’t had any patrols meet him, which was actually disappointing. However, he was still glad that he was near RiverClan. After sleeping he’d been refreshed and therefore was able to make it to the territory without any danger.
Then Rainpaw heard a yowl of agony and pain. His head turned directly toward the noise and he waited for another scream to prove he wasn’t imagining it. When he got the proof by a yowl of anger and rage, he darted forward as fast as he could with the kits in his mouth.
When Rainpaw finally knew what was happening he froze. A deep red fox was fighting off three full Warriors and one small apprentice, though they didn’t seem to be doing that well. Blood stained the snow below them, and most of it was cat blood.
One of the kits squealed, alerting the fox and the other Warriors of his arrival. The fox seemed to light up at the chance to be free, and then it licked its lips as it realised the meal standing dumbfounded in front of him.
The fox lunged forward for Rainpaw, though he’d already began running. The kits only gave him so much speed, and the fox seemed very fast. Why did everything have to go wrong? He was so close to RiverClan territory!
The fox lunged again, and Rainpaw had to leap to the left to dodge the attack. He kept trying to weave through trees and jerk to the side to get the fox to give up, but this one wouldn’t. Its heart was locked on its prey.
Rainpaw then ran into a den, his heart beating quicker than it ever had. Running into a den wasn’t the smartest idea ever, however. It was probably the dumbest. When he was in the den he realised that there weren’t any openings. He was trapped.
Rainpaw thought quickly and set the kits down in a corner. He then turned to face the fox that was chasing him. He could hear the other Warriors racing toward the fox, but there was no time. Rainpaw saw the giant red fox towering over him, teeth sharper than any claw and its eyes colder than any snow storm.
The fox then lunged for him, its teeth bared and ready to grab onto the prey. Rainpaw evaded the attack with difficulty, his flank suddenly reminding him that he was still wounded from the battle of the previous day. The fox bit the stone ground before growling with frustration.
The fox’s yellow eyes then narrowed at Rainpaw, making him get ready for the next attack. The fox swiped its paw at Rainpaw, but the small apprentice dodged it easily. However, when sharp teeth entered his neck, he realised dodging that attack was a mistake.
Rainpaw yowled in pain as the fox picked him up and shook him wildly. He could hear the squeals and screeches of the kits below him and he could hear the yells of the Warriors behind the fox. However, the pain coming from his neck made him scream louder than any of those sounds.
The fox dropped Rainpaw then, as if it did not like his screaming. Rainpaw hit the ground hard, but didn’t waste time moving to get away from yet another attack. His body was giving up, however. It was giving in to the intense pain that all of his wounds were giving him.
The fox then suddenly screeched, making Rainpaw look up. The Warriors and apprentice had come, and they were trying their best to get the fox’s attention. The fox, however, had a different idea. It pulled each one of the cats off of itself and then flung them away, getting itself free rather quickly.
“Rainpaw!” screamed a familiar voice. “Rainpaw get out of there!”
Rainpaw froze with shock as he realised who it was. Cloudpaw, the apprentice he’d met the last time he’d come out here, was right in front of him, trying to get the fox’s attention.
Rainpaw then remembered the fox, though by then it was too late. It had grabbed his right shoulder, and then flung him into the den wall. Rainpaw’s head was bleeding by the time he fell to the ground, and his mind was racing with idea’s to get out of here.
Unfortunately, Rainpaw never got the chance to even think about it thoroughly. The fox grabbed his left shoulder, and shook him again, though it let him fall sooner than the last time.
When Rainpaw hit the ground he didn’t get up. His mind was changing, he could feel it, but it was too slow. The fox seemed to screech with triumph, but it was cut short by what looked like the Warriors. His mind was blurry, and then it happened.
Rainpaw looked over to Cloudpaw, his eyes beginning to close as he rejected the demon part of his mind. She looked worried as she watched him, probably thinking he was dying.
“R-run. . .” Rainpaw rasped. “Run!”
“Rainpaw!” Cloudpaw screamed.
Rainpaw’s frown then turned into a sick grin as his eyes turned a dark blue colour. His scar glowed as he stood up, a laugh of evil happiness escaping his lungs. Rainpaw was then standing fully, his demon looking into the fox’s. The fox then turned its attention to Rainpaw again, looking surprised that its prey was alive.
“Ready for a real fight?” asked Rainpaw, his claws unsheathing. His voice sounded like a blood crazy demon that was ready to kill. “Ready to die? Must feel pretty bad, dying by an apprentice when three Warriors have tried to kill you.” The fox then attacked, its teeth dangerously close to Rainpaw. However, his new and improved mind had very quick reflexes that worked excellently in this situation.
“You were doing pretty well, but you just had to go and bite the scar. Well, at least I finally get to have my fun. After being trapped in the back of this idiot’s mind for so long I’ve been getting kind of lonely, you know?” The fox attacked again, though Rainpaw dodged again.
This was weird to Rainpaw. It felt as if there were two people in his mind. One of them was a demon and the other was a shadow, yet they both seemed connected somehow. It was strange, yet it felt good. It was as if he felt in control now, and he liked it that way.
This time Rainpaw attacked. He lunged for the fox’s neck, his claws unsheathed and his teeth bared. Rainpaw’s teeth clamped onto the fox’s neck while his claws slashed at the fox’s chest. The fox screeched with pain before grabbing Rainpaw’s tail and flinging him off.
As Rainpaw fell, he felt good. He felt alive. Rainpaw stood, then, a happy grin on his face that was just asking for more.
“Yeeeees!” Rainpaw hissed to the fox, his tail lashing with excitement. “Now you’re putting up a good fight! Let’s see if I can push you some more!” Rainpaw then lunged forward, his teeth biting into the fox’s leg.
The fox attacked Rainpaw, aiming for the scar again, but the speedy apprentice moved out of the way just in time. He moved onto the left side of the fox before biting down on its other leg. The fox attacked again, but Rainpaw leaped under it. He then raked his claws down the fox’s belly.
The fox screeched before backing up, grabbing Rainpaw firmly with its teeth, and then shaking him so wildly that blood splattered everywhere. The fox then flung him back against the stone wall, making him yowl in pain. After falling to the ground he lay there a bit longer than the last time, actually quite shocked.
As Rainpaw jumped up he yelled, “Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the best fight ever! Rainpaw should get into trouble more often—I’m lovin’ this!” Rainpaw then lunged forward, his teeth grabbing onto the fox’s neck. The fox tried to clamp its teeth onto Rainpaw, but he was using his small body to dodge the attacks.
Tick tock goes the clock
Rainpaw let go and then leaped to the side before the fox’s sharp teeth got to him. The fox attacked with his paw then, trying the same thing that had nearly ended the real Rainpaw. With a demon laugh, the small apprentice jumped over the paw slashed toward him, and then bit down on the fox’s muzzle as it tried to grab Rainpaw again.
And what now shall we play?
“You’re not so much fun anymore,” growled Rainpaw with a disappointed frown on his face. “Oh well, at least I get to kill you in front of the idiots over there. They’ll have a story to tell when they get home.”
Tick tock, oh what a shame
Rainpaw then lunged at the fox again, this time missing its body on purpose. He then slit its throat, and evil demon-like grin on his face as he did so. The fox screeched but was cut short as it started gurgling. Rainpaw landed cleanly on his paws, but then realised his mistake. He had not cut the fox’s throat thoroughly, and therefore just made it dying instead of dead.
I’ve slit your throat today.
The fox grabbed Rainpaw’s right shoulder and flung him into the stone wall harder than the last few times. He heard a bit of a crack before he fell to the ground, and for some reason the demon part of him seemed to fade away. The burning sensation in Rainpaw’s head eased, and his vision grew clearer.
Rainpaw then heard the fox fall to the ground, and for some reason a smile grew on his face. He heard the kit’s squeals and tried to get up. Rainpaw’s body really wasn’t listening to him at the moment, as if it was mad at him for pushing it too far already, and so he gave up. All he could do now was hope that the RiverClan Warriors would do the right thing and take the kits to their camp.
The RiverClan Warriors then drug the fox’s body out of the den before returning quickly to examine Rainpaw and the kits. Cloudpaw stayed outside. Her eyes were wide with fear and her body was trembling as if she’d just gone into the icy cold lake and ran back. Rainpaw suppressed the tears beginning to form behind his eyes, hoping that she’d put what she’d seen today behind her if and when he woke up.
“Great StarClan he looks horrible,” muttered a slim silver she-cat, her bright blue eyes looking down at him. Even with his mind foggy he could see everything, but he was still not really ready to respond to anything they were saying. “Do you think he’s as crazy as he looked just a few heart-beats ago?”
“Don’t get close so him, Jayfrost,” growled a very light cream coloured tom, his blue eyes narrowing at the silver she-cat whose name was obviously Jayfrost. “When he’s unconscious—which looks to be soon—we’ll take him to Bravestar. If you haven’t forgotten, our leader did act weird the last time that scar was nearly touched. Remember that he wasn’t even close to crazy before the fox bit that shoulder.”
“So you’re saying that the scar is responsible, Otternose?” asked a much older she-cat, also cream coloured. The tom—whose name Rainpaw now knew as Otternose—nodded. “That’s impossible! The scar is star-shaped, yes, but wouldn’t that be an omen, not a curse?”
“I don’t know, Softwillow,” said Otternose. “However, this tom couldn’t have just gone crazy—he was perfectly sane before the fox got to him. It’s as if someone else was controlling the body, the way that he kept saying “Rainpaw should let me out more often” and things like that—it was strange.”
Well, I’m outta here. See ya later, Rainpaw. Hope we meet again soon!
Rainpaw didn’t really understand what happened, but he could tell that the cats beside him weren’t in any danger anymore. This made a smile of relief cover his frown of displeasure, making everything seem happier.
“Either way, I think we should get these kits somewhere safe,” murmured Jayfrost. “They look like they’re starving! They must be at least a day old if not more, and yet they’re not with their mother? How stupid and or dangerous was this tom?” Otternose sighed with frustration as Jayfrost insulted Rainpaw, but then shook his head.
“According to the Warrior code all kits that are nowhere near another cat must be brought back to camp, and these need to be anyway,” said Otternose wisely. “Jayfrost, Cloudpaw. Take these kits back to camp and get them to Reedfeather before they starve to death. As soon as he falls unconscious we’ll take him to Silverdew and Mysticpaw and await Bravestar’s orders on what to do. Don’t explain anything that happened tonight to anyone until Bravestar gives you the okay that you can, understood?” Both cats nodded before taking the kits and leaving. Rainpaw noticed Cloudpaw give a glance of worry to him before leaving, and it was then that he felt at ease.
Rainpaw’s eyes closed and darkness took him. However, that darkness did not last. His dreams made every inch of darkness fail to come to him, filling his mind with laughter and happiness.