PrologueThe dusty hollow filled with cats' screeches and clumps of fur. Fawnheart's eyes widened as a large tom barreled over her, raking his needle sharp claws over her back. The shecat screeched in pain as she flung herself at her assailant. Only seconds later the tom lay bleeding out on the ground, choking on his own blood.
Fawnheart gasped and backed away slowly. Blood trickled down her face from a deep gash that ran over one of her eyes. "No..." She murmured. "No... No! Troutleap I'm sorry! Wake up, Troutleap! No!" Her wails rose over the screeches of the battling cats.
The tom below Fawnstep looked up at her with fearful eyes, filled with blood and tears, and then fell limp. Fawnheart screamed, backing away. She tore at her own pelt with her claws. "Help! Somecat... Please! Help him!"
Her brother was dead. In the midst of battle, she hadn't realized that her only littermate had been trying to protect her. One by one, cats stopped battling and slowly began to circle around, looking at Fawnheart who had murdered her own kin.
"It... It was an accident... I didn't know it was him... I thought- I thought he meant to harm me..." The slim shecat choked on her sobs, the tears falling freely now. "DON'T JUST STAND THERE! HELP HIM!" She screeched. One cat pushed her way out in front of the crowd. She gasped.
"Troutleap!" The cat whirled on Fawnheart. "Wicked queen! How dare you murder my mate, your own kin!"
"M-mallowspring... I'm s-sorry. It was an accid-dent, I swear! On my life! I swear on my life!" Fawnheart backed away from the advancing crowd of silent cats led by Mallowspring.
"It's best if you leave now, Fawnheart..." Said a quiet voice from somewhere in the back of the group. "You know the rules. You'll be banished either way."
The chants soon followed; "Banish her. Banish her. Exile. Exile. Exile."
Fawnheart rose shakily to her paws, her tears mixing with the blood on her face. She wailed one more time, a heart wrenching, aching sound that pierced the ears of all who heard, before casting a dark gaze upon all the cats gathered, and running into the brush, never to be seen again in the forest.