Shattered Sky | Chapter 12 of 35

Author: Erin Hunter | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2739 Views | Add a Review

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Twigpaw lay in her nest in the apprentices’ den. Daylight still filtered in through the screen of ferns, but her leg was aching and she felt like going to sleep.

It’s not like I’ve got anything better to do, she thought. She had been excused from her apprentice duties until her leg was stronger, and she couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for finding something to eat or talking to any of the other cats.

The only cat I really want to talk to is Violetpaw, and that’s not going to happen.

Twigpaw loved the Clanmates she had grown up with, but Violetpaw had always been the most important cat in her life. They were each other’s true kin.

“Isn’t that what matters?” she sighed aloud. She wished she could ask Violetpaw if she really believed what Needletail had said. Did Violetpaw really think that they weren’t kin anymore?

Twigpaw was curling up to sleep when she heard Bramblestar’s voice ringing out across the camp.

“Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highledge for a Clan meeting!”

In spite of her gloomy thoughts, Twigpaw was intrigued. She brushed her way through the ferns and limped into the clearing to hear what was going on.

Bramblestar stood on the Highledge outside his den, with Squirrelflight flanking him on one side and all three medicine cats standing on the other. A buzz of speculation rose from the ThunderClan cats as they gathered beneath the ledge in the rock face to hear what their leader had to say.

“This has to be important,” Whitewing meowed as she sat beside her mate, Birchfall. “Maybe Bramblestar has thought of a way of getting rid of the rogues at last.”

“Watch out for flying hedgehogs,” Birchfall responded, flexing his wounded shoulder.

Twigpaw went to sit beside Lilyheart, who had been her foster mother when she first came to ThunderClan. The small tabby she-cat turned to her with a mrrow of welcome and gave her shoulder a friendly lick.

“Are you feeling better?” she asked.

Twigpaw didn’t want to share her worries with any cat, even Lilyheart. “My leg will be fine,” she replied.

“Cats of ThunderClan!” Bramblestar began to speak, and the chatter in the clearing died down. “The time for secrets is past. Alderheart, tell the Clan about your latest vision.”

Alderheart stepped forward, looking slightly embarrassed to be addressing the whole Clan from the Highledge.

“I have seen the SkyClan cats again,” he announced. “I believe I know where they are: in a barn where I took shelter on the way back from my quest, not very far from here. I think that ThunderClan should send out another search party to find the lost SkyClan cats. They looked so skinny and exhausted; I fear that they need our help, urgently.”

Pity for the cats Alderheart described flowed through Twigpaw, but at the same time, she wondered what kind of help the Clans could give. Haven’t we got enough trouble right now?

Alderheart’s last words were almost lost as the cats in the clearing began to yowl out questions and protests. Rowanstar sprang to his paws, his eyes glaring with outrage.

“I’ve never heard such a load of bat droppings!” he exclaimed. “We should be focusing on what’s going on here—the rogues taking over ShadowClan.”

“That’s right,” Birchfall meowed, while several of the other Clan cats murmured their agreement. “We have to deal with what’s in front of us before we rush off on a new adventure.”

“Yes,” Berrynose added, giving a dismissive flick of his tail. “The last journey cats went on because of Alderheart’s visions didn’t turn out so well, did it?”

Twigpaw felt as if her insides were being clawed out by badgers when she heard Berrynose’s words and realized that many of his Clanmates agreed with him. Are they saying that they regret finding me and my sister?

She felt sorry for Alderheart, too, as he looked down at his paws, even more embarrassed. Sparkpelt, who was sitting next to Berrynose, gave the cream-colored cat a hard shove.

“It’s easy for a cat to say that when all he did was stay at home getting fat on prey!”

Berrynose turned his head to hiss at Sparkpelt, but said nothing more.

“I don’t agree.” Whitewing spoke up, with an apologetic glance at her mate, Birchfall. “It’s obvious to me—SkyClan must be the sky that will clear from StarClan’s prophecy. Surely we need to find them? If we learned anything from the battle against the Dark Forest, it’s that living cats must listen to StarClan.”

Some of the cats were nodding, clearly appreciating what Whitewing had said, but Twigpaw spotted Larksong and Hollytuft exchanging a dubious glance, and even Alderheart looked doubtful for a heartbeat. Twigpaw could understand that. Like her, the younger cats hadn’t been born at the time of the Great Battle. It was hard to imagine fighting with spirit cats on your side, and even harder to think of facing their claws and teeth in combat.

“There’s something else,” Alderheart continued, raising his voice to be heard above the discussion going on in the clearing. “One of the cats in my vision looked so much like Twigpaw, I think he might be her kin.”

Twigpaw stared at him, feeling as if a massive rock had just hit her in the belly. For a few heartbeats she couldn’t even breathe. I might have kin, besides Violetpaw? She was sure that her mother was dead, and she had never even thought about other kin. I might have a father out there! Or my mother or father might have had littermates who would be glad to know me. A warm, confused feeling rushed over her. Maybe I’m not as alone as I thought.

“If this cat is kin to Twigpaw,” Alderheart went on, “then the lost kits have always been linked to SkyClan. The prophecy might depend on us bringing them together.”

Twigpaw flexed her claws in and out with excitement. Not only kin, but perhaps a whole Clan out there that’s tied to me!

But to her dismay, none of the other cats seemed to be much affected by Alderheart’s announcement.

“There are a lot of ifs and perhapses in what you’re saying,” Cloudtail pointed out, lifting a paw to examine his claws. “If you ask me, all this talk of visions is a lot of thistle-fluff. You had a vivid dream, that’s all.”

“Excuse me,” Jayfeather snapped from where he stood beside Alderheart. “Medicine cats know the difference between dreams and visions.”

“Sure, and I’m a starling,” Cloudtail muttered, but not loud enough for his words to carry up to the Highledge.

“Well, I think we should take this vision seriously,” Dovewing meowed, with an exasperated glance at Cloudtail. “I think we should send a patrol to look for SkyClan and offer them whatever help we can. I’d be happy to lead it.”

“I’ll join you,” Lionblaze added, though he didn’t sound as certain as Dovewing. “If you think we can be spared from defending the Clan, Bramblestar.”

“I could go with them.” Sparkpelt’s eyes were gleaming with excitement. “I remember where that barn is.”

“I’ll go, too,” Tigerheart volunteered, touching Dovewing on the shoulder with the tip of his tail.

Instantly Rowanstar sprang to his paws. “You will not!” he growled.

Tigerheart was unmoved by his leader’s anger. “You don’t want ShadowClan to have a paw in this affair?” he asked. “After all, the prophecy was made to all the Clans, so it should not be just ThunderClan that investigates.”

Rowanstar’s only response was a bad-tempered snort. He sat down again, his tail twitching to and fro.

“I think you’re all wrong!” Ivypool had risen now; Twigpaw was surprised by the depth of passion in her voice. “I’d like to find Twigpaw’s kin as much as any cat, but we can’t be sure that the cat Alderheart saw is connected to her. And right now we’re in the middle of a fight with the rogues. They’ve taken over ShadowClan; what if they come for us next? ThunderClan doesn’t have any responsibility to SkyClan—we owe no Clan anything, and I think we should focus on our own problems right now. It’s not like any of the Clan cats who originally drove SkyClan out of the forest are still around.”

Twigpaw’s excitement ebbed away, leaving behind a vast well of hurt and confusion. Ivypool’s my mentor. I thought she would always have my back. Why is she turning against me like this?

“Ivypool’s right,” Poppyfrost meowed. “This is no time to weaken our Clan by sending warriors away.”

“Yes.” Thornclaw spoke up from where he sat at the entrance to the nursery. “If the rogues attack us here, what’s going to happen to my kits?”

“Can we afford to help SkyClan when we’re in such danger ourselves?” Cherryfall added.

Twigpaw felt even more hurt that more cats were agreeing with Ivypool. Don’t they understand how important this is—not just for me, but for the whole Clan? Her belly felt as hollow as if she hadn’t eaten for a moon. “But what about me?” she asked suddenly, without really planning to. Several stunned faces turned toward her—some having the decency to look a bit guilty. “Don’t I have the right to find my kin, if they’re out there?”

Lilyheart, her foster mother, stepped forward and looked at Twigpaw with sympathy. “Of course you do, Twigpaw,” she said gently. “But”—Twigpaw felt a pang in her heart with that but—“when you’re part of a Clan, you must put your needs aside for the good of the Clan. Perhaps right now is not the best time for you to look for your kin.”

Twigpaw could feel her ears turning hot with embarrassment and hurt. She looked down at the ground, unable to believe that her Clanmates were seriously going to prevent her from finding her kin. When the discussion had continued for a few moments more, Bramblestar took a pace forward and raised one paw for silence. “I’ve heard the arguments on both sides now,” he began. “Alderheart, I’m grateful that you’ve shared your vision with us. Eventually I mean for us to do everything we can to help these cats. And Twigpaw, I do understand how important it is for you to find your kin—someday. But the Clan has spoken, and I agree with the majority of our warriors. For now, we must put our own safety first. We will not go to look for SkyClan.” He raised his paw again to cut off protests from Dovewing and Tigerheart. “We need all our warriors to stay on ThunderClan territory until we know what the rogues are going to do next. Alderheart, let me know if you have any more visions.”

Bramblestar turned away and went back into his den, followed by Squirrelflight. The three medicine cats made their way down the tumbled rocks, while the rest of the Clan began to disperse.

For a moment, Twigpaw couldn’t move at all. She felt utterly miserable and betrayed, as if she were sitting at the center of a gray storm cloud. Then she spotted Ivypool heading toward her with a look of concern and apology on her face. But Twigpaw didn’t want to talk to any cat. She rose to her paws, turned her back on Ivypool, and limped away.

First Violetpaw, then Ivypool, and then Lilyheart, she thought wretchedly. Now I know for certain: I can’t expect any cat to be on my side. . . .

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Nicely written. I cried when Needletail died ;(
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thanks i was looking for a website like this to read i just want that could make the full screen best regards
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