Snatched: The Story of Snowkit

Snowkit was always assumed dead by ThunderClan. But what if he wasn't? What if StarClan took him away from the Clan that would have never given him a chance? What if he had a greater destiny than anyone in ThunderClan could have believed?


5. Fear

Snowkit raced through the forest, unable to hear his own panting. He was certain that Lightning and Moss and all of the others were disappearing behind him…but how could he be sure? He didn't dare look, in case Lightning had changed his mind, and wanted to make the scene of Snowkit's death look legitimate.

He finally slowed down when he couldn't run any farther, stopping to rest under a tree branch that appeared to have been partially severed in a storm days before. He huddled underneath it, still quivering.

He hates me, he thought. He loves Moss so much that he hates me. How can that be? How can you love one cat and hate another? I don't understand…it's all my fault, my fault. If only I could hear…Lightning was right. I'm useless….He quivered, and closed his eyes, trying to blot out the pain as well as he could. His little body shook with sorrow. How would he survive now?

Snowkit recognized the forest immediately. "Am I dead?" he wondered out loud. "Or just dreaming again? StarClan, let me be dead! I'm useless, I can't do anything right! Lightning was right. I'm worthless…."

"Don't ever say that," he heard a voice hiss. Snowkit turned, blinking at the white she-cat.

"It's true," he said miserably.

"No, Snowkit, it's not. Do you think StarClan would have picked you for this, if you were useless? Why do you think we took you from ThunderClan? You would have never been appreciated there, like you deserve. You can't hear, but over time your other senses will develop, Snowkit. You'll be able to see a bird's feathers a hundred fox-lengths in the air, be able to smell prey a thousand mouse-tails away, be able to feel the rumbles of cats footfalls and voices through your paws on the ground…you'll be amazing, Snowkit, just deaf. And that isn't a bad thing; you're just different, Snowkit. Some think you're weak, and you are now, but you're becoming stronger every day. No normal kit could have survived that hawk, Snowkit. We chose you. You have a great destiny."

"You keep saying that!" Snowkit burst out. "It's always 'destiny this' and 'destiny that' with you! What is my 'great destiny'? What am I supposed to do?"

The white she-cat closed her eyes. "We can't tell you, Snowkit," she said quietly. "We can't."

Snowkit's blue eyes burned with a bright blue flame. "Then I quit," he spat. "I'm finished with this. I'm done with it! I don't care about StarClan anymore, okay? I don't care about Moss or Tabby or Frost! I'm done with it!" And with that, he stalked away from the she-cat, away from StarClan itself.

He felt a nudge on his side. He opened his eyes, half-expecting to be blinking up at Moss's green eyes. However, the eyes he found were not green, but gold, set in a chocolate-brown face.

The face smiled when it saw him, and said something, something that Snowkit couldn't quite understand. Whoever this cat was, she was not a cat he knew, and so he shrank back from her, flattening himself to the ground as if trying to hide. The cat smiled, and said something else. Snowkit blinked up at her mutely.

Another cat came into view, a white tom with golden eyes. He studied Snowkit for a moment, and then turned to the chocolate cat. Snowkit thought he saw 'deaf' on the white cat's lips. The chocolate cat blinked in surprise, and then threw her head back and laughed. She grinned down at Snowkit, and mouthed very carefully,

"You belong with us."

* * *

Strong jaws carried Snowkit, and he blinked nervously, glancing around fearfully. The white tom was carrying him, and the chocolate cat was walking in front of them with her tail held high. They entered a strange sort of camp, one unlike any that Snowkit had seen. It appeared to be a cave, and within the cave were different alleys – carved by rivers, perhaps? – in which eyes glowed. Several cats strode out of the den – a massive black tom, a tabby she-cat, a skinny black tom, a scarred tom, a big gray tabby, and several other eyes that did not reveal themselves. Snowkit suddenly had a sinking feeling, deep in his chest; these were the same ones, the cats that Rain had spoken about. These were the cats that had fought with Moss and the others only that morning.

They certainly bore the scars of the battle, with their torn ears, slashes, gashes, and blood-stained fur. Only the chocolate cat and the white tom who had carried him here were untouched.

Snowkit's mouth opened. "Fear," he whispered. The chocolate cat grinned at him, and rested her muzzle against his white side.

"The mute speaks," she said with a chuckle. "Tell me, what is it like, being deaf? It's certainly interesting. None of the others were deaf. Of course, everyone here has a unique problem…you'll find out what I mean soon, don't you worry." She smiled at him, and then flicked her tail to the white cat.

"That's Lune, he's new here," she explained, and Lune nodded slowly. "Sit our new friend down over there somewhere, and go find Corse. He can translate what we say for this kit."

Lune nodded and padded towards the cave, halting at the entrance and sitting Snowkit down gently. He said something to the skinny black tom, who nodded quickly and padded over to sit by Snowkit. Snowkit reached his tail up to the tom's throat.

"I'm Corse," the tom said, and Snowkit noticed that Corse's rumbles were gentle, almost breathy, somewhat frail, as if his voice wasn't strong. "I'll tell you everything they say, okay? Fear will call a meeting."

Snowkit nodded slowly, and turned, watching as Fear let out a growl, summoning the cats forward.

"Everyone, we've found a new recruit," she announced. "This is…what is your name?" she asked, turning to Snowkit.

"Snowkit," he said softly, "but I'd like Snowpaw better. I would be an apprentice now if I was in ThunderClan."

Fear blinked in surprise, as if his name and his Clan had met something to her. Her golden eyes flickered for a moment, and then she shook her head. "Snowkit," she repeated to the group. "Now I want you all to introduce yourselves."

The cats hesitated, glancing at each other, until the biggest black cat Snowkit had ever seen took a step forward.

"My name is Sin," he said, and his yellow eyes glinted brightly as he came to stand beside Fear, looking almost like a small mountain. Snowkit swallowed nervously.

"I'm Savage," another tom said, the gray tom who was almost as big as Sin. His fur was silver-white-gray, and quite long. He nodded to Snowkit slowly.

"My name is Twist," a little tabby she-cat announced, her green eyes shining brightly. She reminded Snowkit of Tabby.

"I'm Hog," another black tom rumbled. There was an eerie light in his eyes as he gazed upon Snowkit, and Snowkit realized this was the cat that had attacked Moss. A brief flare of anger rose up within him, but he quelled it quickly; he couldn't go back to them, not with them thinking he was dead. Lightning really would kill him, then, wouldn't he?

Satisfied that the introductions had been made, Fear turned to the main order of business. "Snowkit here is deaf," she explained, "and I think we all know what that means." The cats nodded slowly, and Snowkit blinked up at Corse.

"What does she mean?" he whispered curiously.

"We are all flawed," he said softly. "We are all broken, in some way. She's the only one who would take us in, you see? Fear is our savior. We owe everything to her." He pointed to Twist with his tail. "You see her? She hears voices. Two, apparently, always arguing in her head when decisions are to be made. That's why she can't fight, she gets caught up in the fight in her head and can't move until she's reached a decision, and she can't with the voices…she knows a bit about herbs though, the voices tell her some things, so Fear took her in." Corse nodded to Savage. "Savage is a fierce fighter, but during battle he sometimes loses control of himself. He becomes even more ferocious, but will attack friend or foe, they are all the same to him. He killed one of us that way during one battle."

"And you?" Snowkit asked, but Corse was silent as the grave.

"Are we going to allow him into the group?" Fear asked. The heads turned, and he could see their mouths moving as they sized him up.

"He's small now, but he'll be strong when he grows," Savage said.

"He won't get a chance anywhere else. He smells like Lightning's group, and if he was with them he isn't anymore," Lune said. There was a silkiness in the way Corse imitated Lune's voice, Snowkit could feel it. His pelt prickled. This Lune character…he wasn't to be trusted, Snowkit could feel it.

Several other cats said something or other – except Twist, although her mouth was moving, he noticed – and finally Fear nodded. She smiled at Snowkit.

"Welcome to the Pride," she said.

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