Chapter EightThe eight cats slinked across the prairie, Sparrowstar in the lead. She twitched her tail, signalling a GrassClan patrol was nearing. They darted into the treeline and hid, the patrol stoppng to sniff, then passing by.
“Phew!” Vinepaw sighed, flicking her light-grey ear.
“Shh!” Ripplepdool reminded. Silverpelt was just appearing in the sky as the cats neared the Great Valley, where the Gathering was held. MarshClan had just arrived, but GrassClan and DesertClan were no where in sight. Sparrowstar leaped onto a tree stump and sat. Vinepaw and Rabbitpaw explored the roots while Drizzletail watched, smiling. Rippledpool went over to a small stream surrounded by rocks and looked at her reflection. How many faces will be lost if war breaks out? How many faces will be scarred if Longkit is not taken care of? How many cats will die from this curse? She thought forlornly. A yowl signaled that GrassClan had arrived. Rippledpool was surprised to see Mapletail padding towards her.
“Hey Rippledpool. See any fish?” Mapletail mewed, gesturing at the river. Rippledpool sighed and looked away.
“Wait, where’s Birchpaw? Actually, I don’t remember seeing him at the Half-Moon.” Mapletail asked.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Rippledpool snarled, turning away from her. Why does she always seem to bring up memories that sting like holly and burn like deathberries… Rippledpool mused angrily.
“Rippledpool, I was thinking about what you said about the alliance, and I accept. But, you must help me with my StarClan dream.” Mapletail meowed. Rippledpool smiled and swishe dher tail.
“Good, now let me tell you my dream…” Rippledpool told Mapletail about the dream. Mapletail’s eyes had widened, and she gasped.
“You were right! We really do need an alliance!” Suddenly, Sparrowstar called out to start the meeting.
“Cats of all Clans, we gather tonight under StarClan for a meeting of peace. Let the meeting begin!” Sparrowstar yowled, Silverpelt glowing bright above them.
“Sparrowstar, if I may begin?” Pointedstar, the leader of MarshClan meowed. Sparrowstar nodded and sat back down on her stump.
“I speak tonight of treachery! SandClan have been stealing prey off of our boundary!” He hissed. The SandClan leader Desertstar’s spotted tan coat ruffled, but went flat quickly. Yowls of protest echoed from SandClan.
“Hush SandClan. I apologize for any misgivings. The boundary line between our Clans is never scent-marked, so we were unable to know the exact boundary. I apologize.” Desertstar dipped his head in apology. Pointedstar’s mottled brown and beige coat fluffed out, and his pointed ears were spiked straight up.
“Well, that will happen no more! We will be patrolling that border very often now. So, yeah…” Pointedstar ended awkwardly.
“Desertstar, it is your turn now.” Sparrowstar meowed. Desertstar nodded and spoke about how a litter of five kits was born and that two apprentices were made warriors.
“Birdstar, would you care to speak” Sparrowstar mewed. Birdstar nodded.
“We will patrol that border much more as well.” Pointedstar meowed in a dull tone.
“Doesn’t it seem weird how MarshClan never seems to have any patrols?” Vinepaw mewed, turning her head to a SandClan apprentice.
“I don’t really know, but I heard from Scorpiontail that they are having a bad season, and that the marshes are drying up.” The apprentice replied.
“Shh!” Drizzletail reminded. The apprentices fell silent.
“I will now give my report.” Sparrowstar meowed. “A litter of three kits was born not long ago. Rippledpool had also received a strange prophecy. Rippledpool,” Sparrowstar nodded to Rippledpool to come up to the stump. Rippledpool padded away from Mapletail and leaped onto the stump.
“StarClan has told me that a horrible fate will over take the clans!” Ripplepdool swiveled her head to look at Birdstar. “GrassClan will be burned by a prairie fire!” The cats of GrassClan gasped, but Birdstar kept a straight face. Ripplepdool fixed Pointedstar in her gaze. “MarshClan’s swamps will dry up!” Pointedstar glared at her, fury and fear in his eyes. “And my own clan, MountainClan, will have a rockslide.” Rippledpool ended, purposefully not mentioning the part about the cursed kit . “And the clan of heat will take over. Only one cat can save us.” Rippledpool did not specify which clan that was, but she could tell that many of the cats gazes had panned over to the SandClan leader. “Which is why I ask for an alliance between medicine cats! These prophecies are dnagerous, and we need to be able to meet to share our dreams.” Rippledpool looked at Biridstar, who nodded and smiled.
“I agree, an alliance sounds good.” Sparrowstar nodded.
“Thank you Ripplepool.” Sparrowstar meowed, retaking her place on the stump. Pointedstar immediately got to the point.
“How can we trust this prophecy?” He meowed, tail lashing furiously. “And how come SandClan isn’t gonna have anything bad happen!” A cat from the crowd spat. The cats yowled in agreement, and Pointedstar unsheathed his claws. “This just sounds like an excuse to attack!” He hissed.
“Enough! You have all angered StarClan! The moon is blocked and Silverpelt has disappeared. This Gathering is now over! Clans, disperse!” Sparrowstar hissed, signalling with her tail for MountainClan to move out.
“Fine, but know that MarshClan is not a part of this.” Pointedstar spat.
“I also do not agree with this.” Desertstar meowed. The cats gathered their clans and left. Rippledpool had gone back over to Mapletail and they touched noses.
“We’ll meet at the next half-moon.” Rippledpool muttered, and she turned away to go back to her clan.
“Wait! We have to meet sooner! How about tomorrow night here?” Mapletail mewed quietly. Rippledpool nodded and dashed off to catch up with her clan.