The Messenger

From the shadows he watches,
Waiting and listening,
For forest destruction;
Is his plan


6. Chapter 1

Many moons have passed since Speckledstars death, once again leaf-bare has taken its toll on our clan, many are sick, my hope is to keep the Queens healthy along with the apprentices, but I feel that we are going to loose Cloudeye, he's become very weak with the coming and going of each season.

I stepped out of my den, my paws stinging from the snow, Shadowfang was leading the morning patrol, he dipped his head. "Good morning Ashstar," he said in a bold voice

"Good morning, how did the patrol go?" 

His ears flattened and his tail drooped, "the snow is too deep, and most of the birds have flown away, all we could manage were a few mice." 

I ran my tail along his spine, "you have done well, we will make due with what we have," he dipped his head and padded off, I picked up a mouse and brought it to the nursery.

"Good morning Ashstar," Bluefeather chirped 

"Good morning, how are you feeling?" I nuzzled at her flank, it was any day now when she would be knitting.

"I've been better, Russetfur breakfast is here come share with me," the red she cat hobbled over and sat next to Bluefeather, I dipped my head and proceeded to walk further into the nursery, it wasn't as quiet.

"Mintkit! Your stepping on my tail!" "Frostkit, let go of my ear!" I shook my head and sat next to the tumbling kits.

"Mama!" They squeeled as they ran over.

 "lets see, Frostkit, Mintkit, Wolfkit, and- wait, where's foxkit?"

The small orange kit padded out of the corner shivering, "I-I'm here mama." 

I walked over and lapped at his fur, "why were you hiding again?"

"We were watching Darkpaw, she was practicing by the nursery and I got scared and hid."

I smiled, "my son, you need to be brave, your going to be a great warrior one day, maybe even a leader."

"I could be the leader?" He looked up at me, his eyes full of wonder

"Of course-" 

"You would be a strong leader like your mom." We all turned to find the broad shouldered gray tom.

"Daddy!" All the kits squeeled, I sat up and touched noses with my mate, "morning Stoneclaw."

"A good morning to you as well my leader," he said in a rather sarcastic tone, I rolled my eyes, and nudged the mouse towards the kits.

"Eat, you'll get stronger."

"B-but, what about you mama?" Foxkit said wide-eyed, I licked his head.

"I'll go out hunting later, you need your strength," he hesitated but padded over and sat with his siblings. I padded out of the den, I needed to get out of camp, run on the moors. "Stoneclaw, Stormwisker, Shadepetal, and Swiftheart, please, go out hunting, we need everything we can muster, the cats dipped their heads and padded away. 

"Darkpaw!" I called out, shortly after a black she-cat skidded out from the apprentices den and stopped before me.

"Yes Ashstar?" She shivered slightly

"Walk with me, I want you to accompany me on this task," she tilted her head slightly

"Where are we going?" 

"Out of camp, maybe a little hunting later," I smiled and padded away with Darkpaw following close behind. 'She's a strong warrior Speckledstar, you would be proud of your daughter' I mumbled to myself. We walked for a while before we stopped at the thunder path



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