Unwanted encounter.Mapleshade pressed herself against the two-leg fence, trying to contain any fear scent. Her ears pricked as she heard the heavy sound of running paw against gravel. “Are you sure you saw Mapleshade?”, came Deerapple’s voice, one of her former clanmates. A high-pitched bright voice replied, “I sure of it. I saw a ginger and white tail.”.
The sun crept forever closer to the horizon, sunset quickly approving. She was young and healthy warrior, still in her prime, the journey to the Barn should of been quick. But Appledusk’s vauge directions to it, hadn’t proved useful at all. Now having to rely on her family’s trail scent alone. At least she knew they had made it past the Thunderclan border without much trouble. Patrolling around the twoleg place had never been that good anyway. But despite that, here she was, being hunted down like helpless prey by a patrol.
Deerdapple spoke again, “Does that mean he kits could be around here?”. You wished. Mapleshade listened in carefully, holding her breath. A low rumble came from beyond the safety of fence, as a cat was growling to themselves. “I swear”, an angry gruff voice sounded, “If I find one of those crow-food eating maggots, I’ll slay them where they stand!”. It felt like a mountain of boulders had collapsed on top of her. Out of every Thunderclan warrior, she could’ve encountered, it had to be him. A prideful, fox-hearted Clan purest! He’d been yowling the loudest of all as Mapleshade and her kits were exiled, but not in victory, in protest. He thought exile was not harsh enough for the likes of half-clan cats.
Quiet rustling and rearing noises came from the other side of the wooden sheet, as a cat teared up grass from under their paws. “The Place of No Stars is the only afterlife that waits a kit-killer, Stemwing!”, Deerdapple howled in rage. Mapleshade imagined the two Thunderclan warriors circling each other, unsheltered their claws as tension grew. “Starclan would honor it!”, Stemwing argued, “Half-breeds are a scourge on the warrior code itself.”. This was probably a good time to try and slip away while they were busy squabbling among themselves. Mapleshade looked around at the small garden that surrounded her. Mouse-dang! She’d trapped herself. The whole large patch of bright grass was closed-in by towering red flat cliff walls. The only way out was the way she came in, scaling the fence. She dug her claws deep into the bark, bending her back legs, preparing to make the leap. She licked her lips nervously, she had to quick about this.
“Enough!”, came Deerdapple’s voice once more, “Oakstar only wants the kits in exile but nothing else. If you lay a claw on them, you will be reported.”, the she-cat sternly warned. Mapleshade laid a single paw onto the fence, each heartbeat dragging on painfully slowly. From the other side of the fence the quarrel continued with Stemwing rudely snorting, “You do that. I don’t care. Let’s just back to findi-”. Mapleshade saw their shocked faces as the forest of Thunderclan came into view while landing hard on top of the fence. The whole thing shook under her weight. Stemwing’s water blue eyes flared in rage. Twisting her whole body round, she sprinted down the fence ledge at full pelt. The hate filled yowl came from Stemwing as Mapleshade made it further and further away.
Birchface had the leap of a deer, Blossomfall had the strength of a banger, Stemwing had the wickedness of a fox but Mapleshade had the climbing of a squirrel. Using Her long bushy tail to balance herself as she ran across the fence. It was as easy as running across a thick tree branch. The trees of Thunderclan quickly become long wielding fields of Twolegs farms as she neared the border. Ignoring, several dumbfounded kittypets watching her, as they lazed around in their gardens. Just a bit further. Then from the corner of her amber eye, came a fast moving brown shape, darting along side her from the bottom of the fence. A heather coloured tom with dark brown pointed face, tail and paws followed her. Stemwing. His face was strewed up with raw determination as he recklessly charged after her. His breathing heavily as he struggled to keep up.
She was almost flattened he was going through this much effect just to catch up with the lighter built cat.
Using his own body like a log, he slammed into the fence with his flank. The whole fence violently trembled, making her lose her footing. She grabbed the sides with her claws as her back legs and tail dangled over the edge. Stemwing sprang up, his teeth digging into her back leg. She cried out in pain. Both cats were spent tumbling down, hissing and spitting, right into a thick patch of stings nettles. She flailed out as she felt sharp pain all over her body as the nettles stung her from all directions. She was surrounded by sharp needle-like leaves, like nature itself was against her. Roots and stems tangled around her as she desperately tried to climb out. Completely ignoring the pain, Stemwing tore through the nettle bush, relentlessly driving himself forward, his eyes blazing as he picked his way over to Mapleshade. She swiped the leaves out of her face, giving her room to breathe. Gathering the energy, she the gripped the earth, heaving herself forward. She gasped as she broke out from the nettle bush, rolling into the air. Still covered in nettles that clung to her shredded fur.
However this worked to Stemwing's advantage. She’d caused the branches of the bush to split like a torn ear, giving him a perfect way out. He quickly broke free and leapt high, aiming to land right on top of the ginger she-cat. Blindly, she kicked out. Then she heard a sharp hiss of distress as her back paw meet flesh and bone. Twisting her head round, she saw Stemwing flailing on the grass-covered ground, clawing at his own eyes. Three long claw marks ran across his muzzle, right up to his left eye. Mapleshade stared at him. The wounded eye was badly swallowed like rolling dark green hills at night. It oozed with streams of blood. “I-I-I…”, the tom scattered, panic overwhelming him, “I can’t- I can’t see! I can’t see out of my left eye!”, he yelled out in terror. In the far distance, Mapleshade spotted the shapes of Nettlepaw and Deerdapple rushing towards them.
Hurrying to her paws, she began dashing towards the Twoleg farm again, leaving the sheving cat behind her. “Get back here!”, Stemwing shouted, “Coward!”. As Mapleshade ran, she felt a wave of anger move through her. If she didn’t have a family to look out for, she’d been more then happy to prove him wrong. One day, she’d show that fox-heart that she was no coward.