Chapter Nine“Rippledpool, why didn’t you tell them about Longkit?” Drizzletail, MountainClan’s deputy mewed as they padded through the waning moonlight.
“Because,” Ripplepdool grunted as she leaped up on top of a boulder. “The other clans might think we are weak, and we can’t have that.” Drizzletail nodded and dug her claws into a rock ledge, leaping up onto the top of the cliff that the MountainClan cats must climb to get back from the gathering. Rippledpool sighed as she got to the top and padded into the familiar camp. She went into her den and curled up in her nest, asleep.
“Rippledpool…” A voice whispered. She opened her eyes to see Sparrowstar in front of her, sitting on a Twoleg fence.
“Sparrowstar?” She mewed. Rippledpool gasped to see that the cat was wearing a collar! She then noticed that the cat’s eyes were fogged over, like she was blind.
“Are, are you the one from the prophecy?” Rippledpool whispered. The cat said nothing, only twitched her tail. A voice from up above spoke, high and clear.
“Yes. Beware the clan of heat!” The voice yowled before disappearing, and everything faded to black.
Rippledpool gasped and opened her eyes. The sunlight was streaming through the entrance to the den, and her rapid heartbeat slowed down. StarClan, why do keep sending me these dreams? I don’t know what to do? Do you expect me to just go blindly out into the Twoleg place? Rippledpool thought miserably, when she heard a yowl from the camp.
“Rippledpool!” It was Vinepaw!
“I’m coming!” Rippledpool dashed out of the den towards Vinepaw, who was pacing in front of the elder’s den. Panting, Rippledpool asked what was wrong.
“It’s, it’s Swiftflower!” Vinepaw bawled.
“Swiftflower? You mean your mother?” Without waiting for an answer Rippledpool scrambled under the bush to where the elders slept. Brightpatch, Notail, and Rabbitpaw were huddled around her. Ripplepdool carefully shoved her way between Notail and Rabbitpaw and gazed down at the light-brown she-cat. Her eyes were scrunched closed and her breathing was shallow and fast.
“Swiftflower! What’s wrong?” Rippledpool mewed. The elder opened her eyes and winced.
“Ugh! P, Pointedear?” She gasped. Her voice was barely a whisper. “Pointedear… I’m sorry… Ack!” The elder twitched and she calmed, letting out a breath. “Vinepaw, Rabbitpaw…” She whispered, her voice hoarse. The two apprentices leaned in close to their mother. “I just want you to know that I’m proud of you. StarClan is here for me…” Swiftflower sighed and her eyes faded, as though she was looking at something very far away. She let out one final breath and died.
“Mom?” Vinepaw mewed. Rabbitpaw’s eyes began to fill with tears, and she started bawling.
“Moooooom! No!” Rabbitpaw yowled. Vinepaw was sitting rock-still, her eyes fixed on her mother’s calm face.
“How could you StarClan!” Vinepaw snarled, surprising Rippledpool. “She wasn’t ready to die! How dare you! StarClan is just a bunch of lies! They don’t care about us!” Vinepaw hissed, storming out of the den. Brightpatch and Notail were looking out Rippledpool with worry in their eyes.
“She’ll be okay. Now come on, we have to move her out into the clearing.” Ripplepdool meowed. So the four cats carefully nudged Swiftflower out into the clearing. Sparrowstar and Drizzletail were standing in the clearing, watching. Sparrowstar padded up to Rippledpool.
“I’m sorry.” Was all that she said. Sparrowstar called the clan together and the cats shared tongues with the well-respected elder. Rippledpool could not bear to spend too long licking the dead cat because of her feelings of guilt over not being able to save her, so she went into the nursery. She stopped dead when she saw Longkit wrestling with a feather at the front of the den. His eyes glinted with anger as he snapped the feather and watched with a proud gaze as it floated to the floor. Rippledpool felt a cold breeze pass by her neck as a single line floated back from her vision, and newleaf’s end will be the clan’s final night… Rippledpool was snapped out of her trance when Whiteclaw came padding up and licked Longkit on the head.
“Look at you, already such a great warrior.” Longkit beamed under his mother’s praise and licked her chin, causing her to laugh.
“Just like da, right?” He mewed. Whiteclaw purred
“Just like him.” Rippledpool smiled. How could such a sweet kit ever be cursed? Rippledpool left the nursery and went to speak to Sparrowstar.
“Sparrowstar?” She mewed tentatively at the front of her den. A small white face with big
blue eyes popped out.
“Rippledpool!” Snowkit mewed, jumping onto the medicine cat’s back. Sparrowstar came
“Hi Rippledpool. Snowkit was just asking me if she could be your apprentice!” Sparrowstar meowed joyfully. Rippledpool gasped, her eyes bright.
“I would love to have Snowkit as an apprentice!” Rippledpool mewed, whisking the young kit off of her back. Sparrowstar leaned down to speak to the kit.
“Did you hear that? Rippledpool says that she would mentor you to become a medicine cat!” Snowkit’s eyes widened and a big smile stretched across her face.
“Yay! I’m gonna go tell mom and Rainkit and Longkit!” She mewed, darting off towards the nursery.
“What was it you wanted to talk about?” Sparrowstar asked.
“I promised Mapletail that I would speak to her about our dreams tonight at the Great Valley.” Sparrowstar thought for a moment before responding.
“Sure, as long as it is for the benefit of the clans. If you’re going to meet and be back by moonhigh, you better get going. Would you like an escort?” Rippledpool shook her head and dashed out of the den.
I can sense something big is going to happen… Ripplepdool thought to herself, when she saw Barkface in front of her.
“Rippledpool, did you ask Sparrowstar about me returning?” He meowed.
“Um, a little, but you can go back now, okay? I’m in a hurry, so bye!” Rippledpool mewed awkwardly, darting around Barkface. She felt the wind on her face and her heart was bright. Everything is going to be fine. StarClan has sent me one of the clearest prophecies possible, and once Whiteclaw’s kits are old enough, I’ll have an apprentice! Rippledpool thought, when she scented a familiar cat running alongside her. She turned her head to see a faint outline of Birchpaw.
“Birchpaw!” Rippledpool meowed happily. He smiled and faded away, but to Rippledpool he was still there, and he always would be.
Rippledpool got to the Great Valley and danced in the early night, weaving through the flowers and grasses like a kit, because for once, everything seemed peaceful. She was sitting on one of the stumps when she smelled Mapletail approaching.
“Hey Mapletail!” She mewed, jumping down. “I have something to tell you. I had another dream, it was a cat that looked just like Sparrowstar, but she was sitting on a Twoleg fence, and her eyes were all cloudy like she was blind. Could that be the cat who is to save us?”
“Agh! I hope it isn’t, because how would we find her? Just walk into the Twoleg place and ask for directions? Plus, there’s the big Twoleg place, the little one, and the couple nests in my territory!” Mapletail fretted.
“StarClan will give us more directions. They wouldn’t just let us walk into Twoleg place blind, it wouldn’t be safe.” Ripplepdool mewed quietly. The two cats sat without saying anything for a bit, until Mapletail broke the silence.
“Anyway, aren’t you supposed to be helping me with my dreams?” Mapletail meowed.
“Oh yeah.” Rippledpool purred.
“So, at the camp I dreamed about Berryfur, my mentor, and she told me that a threat befalls the camp and that I would have to be true to myself or whatever, then at the Moonstone my mother Windwhisker told me that there would be a disturbance in the prairie, and then I keep having these dreams about a cat named Lightshade.”
“Is Lightshade a StarClan cat?” Rippledpool mewed, listening intently.
“Not really, she’s not StarClan or from the Dark Forest, I don’t know where she’s at right now.” Mapletail fretted. Rippledpool brushed her shoulder with her tail.
“She must be from the Land of the Forgotten. My mentor, Spindlefeather, was very close to StarClan and knew alot about them even when she still walked these lands. Apparently, some cats, whether StarClan or Dark Forest are simply forgotten, so old or so ordinary that no one remembers them, and they just disappear.” Rippledpool meowed.
“Then how was I able to see her in my dream?” Mapletail asked. Rippledpool sat frozen for a moment, then sighed.
“Right! Why didn’t I think of that! She must have been an In-between.” Ripplepdool mewed awkwardly. By now Mapletail was a bit worked up.
“WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!” She yowled. Rippledpool shrank back and continued.
“It’s a place where cats who don’t belong in StarClan or the Dark Forest go. That must be where she went.” Mapletail nodded, and looked at the sky. The moon was shining brightly.
“it’s moonhigh, I have to get back to camp. I’ll see you at the half-moon!” Mapletail mewed, dashing off towards the GrassClan camp. Rippledpool got up and began to meander back to the MountainClan camp. She crossed the prairie, climbed the cliff, and dashed through the forest until she came to the camp.