Series: Silversong123's Mini Deluxes
Succeeding: Hymn for the Missing
|Duckpaw is small, white-furred, and has a high-pitched mew. Outcasted by his Clan, Duckpaw has a decision to make: live and suffer the bullying, or take his life to spare the tears.|
Hopefully people have spared you and let you smile.
But this story is dedicated to those who have shed tears because of bullying.
Just remember: you are not alone. I will help you carry you through.
Duckpaw slowly got up from his nest. His muscles ached from the beating the day before. His white fur was taken out in clumps, and his blood spread rapidly across the leafy floor of the forest.
His memories only held pain and hurt.
For Duckpaw, life was just a revolving circle, ending every day at the same place. It wasn't Duckpaw's fault he was different. To his misfortune, he was born white-furred, uncommon throughout the Clan he had once looked up to: MorningClan. While everyone strode around with sleek tabby pelts, tortoiseshell markings, or even patches of different colors, Duckpaw was just a plain outcast.
His high-pitched voice didn't help the situation either. Nicknames did include Squeaky and Kittypet. And now that we speak of this matter, we might also include the fact that he was small. Very small.
"Hey, Squeaky!" A voice called from outside of the apprentices' den. Duckpaw growled silently, wishing he could attack whoever called him by the name Squeaky. Duckpaw trudged to the entrance, poking his head out. The harsh sun's rays hit his face and blinded him for a heartbeat, before a body pushed him harshly.
"Listen, runt, the dirtplace needs cleaning. And since you seem like you're fit for it, you have the honor of cleaning it." It was Turtlestep, a black and white she-cat. She also happened to be his mother.
"I'll get on that," Duckpaw snarled at his mother. Turtlestep bared her teeth and raked her claws against Duckpaw's face. Blood trickled down his face and specked the ground. Duckpaw narrowed his green eyes into slits and stared at his mother.
Turtlestep's amber eyes bloomed with hatred and anger. "Well, what are you waiting for, you good for nothing cat? Go get the job done!" She hissed. Duckpaw hauled his aching body to the other side of camp. There never seemed to be any remorse in Turtlestep's eyes. She never loved him.
Often, Duckpaw's days ended with stained faces and puffy eyes. He cried himself to sleep a lot. There was once a time when Duckpaw looked up to his mother, but that was before he realized she never liked him. No one liked him. He used to dream of becoming leader although it was obvious he would never achieve his goal.
Dreams shattered and Duckpaw's feelings of love were demolished. He didn't recall what love felt like. To him, love didn't exist at all.
The dirtplace stank and it reminded Duckpaw of the time when he was a mere kit. Two apprentices, Marshpaw and Flutterpaw, had stolen him from the nursery one night and took him to the dirtplace. They pushed him, face first, into the dirt. He squirmed and tried to wiggle away, but they pushed him even further. The sound of muffled laughter filled his ears and it didn't take long before he began to cry.
Now, Duckpaw shuddered at the memory. Scooping the dung with his paws, Duckpaw tried not to breathe in the smell. A sound from the entrance alerted him and Duckpaw spun around.
The medicine cat, Rosebird, walked in. Her blue eyes didn't meet Duckpaw's and she simply ignored him. She simply flicked him harshly on the shoulder, a signal that she didn't want him in there right now.
Duckpaw, without question, escaped out of the den. Simply horrifying.
"Hey, Duckpaw!" Duckpaw stopped mid-step and turned his head over his shoulders to see who was calling. Amberpaw was padding swiftly towards her denmate, reaching him and purring affectionately.
"Hi," she purred and attempted to rub against Duckpaw, but the white tom flinched away. He had learned throughout the seasons that a touch meant pain. Amberpaw's amber eyes flashed with hurt, but her voice was cool and level.
"Do you want to hunt or something?" she asked. Duckpaw shook his head.
"Not now. I'm supposed to clean the dirtplace right now." Duckpaw began to make his way back to the den, when Amberpaw stopped him abrubtly.
"No way, Duckpaw." The sound of his name in her flowing voice made Duckpaw's fur stand on end. She was the only cat who actually called him by his true name. No one but her. Actually, she was the only one who treated him the same way she was treated: great.
"Fine, but just for a few minutes." Duckpaw reluctantly agreed. Amberpaw's eyes brightened and she danced happily around Duckpaw.
"Follow me." Amberpaw led Duckpaw, head low and tail drooped, out of camp. Away from hurt and imprisonment.
"I didn't really want to hunt." Amberpaw meowed as she sat down in a patch of sunlight. Her ginger tabby pelt flared up, making her shine like fire.
"I kinda figured." Duckpaw sighed. He sat down across from Amberpaw, and wrapped his tail around his paws neatly. "So what do you want?"
"I want to know everything. Duckpaw, I know I became your denmate two moons ago, but it seems that I hardly know you. I don't know what your favorite food--"
"Sparrow," Duckpaw interrupted. "I like sparrows."
"Okay, that's one thing," Amberpaw chuckled. A smile played on Duckpaw's face, but he didn't want to smile, ever. Not when his life was filled with unhappiness.
"But tell me, Duckpaw, why are you always so grumpy? Like, you never smile or laugh. You hardly even talk." Amberpaw cocked her head, waiting for a response.
"It's nothing," Duckpaw snapped and got up to leave. He didn't want to talk about his life and why it was a mess.
Amberpaw's eyes widened. "No!" she yowled. "Please don't go," she added with a whisper. Duckpaw stopped and turned back to sit again.
"Fine." He hissed. Duckpaw took a breath as he realized he was about to reveal his whole life to this cat he hardly knew. "I... as you can see, I am a plain-colored cat. I'm way too small, and my voice is high-pitched." He mumbled, scuffling the ground with his paws. Hearing his voice sound like a she-cat's pinched his heart.
"That's it? That's why you never smile?" Amberpaw scoffed.
Duckpaw hissed and barred his teeth. "You don't understand. You'll never understand. MorningClan will always treat you like a precious kit. You will always be protected. I, on the other paw, am an outsider to them. I am treated like dirt every counting day. The worst jobs are saved for me. I'm sure I'd be the one picked to chase out a bear if there was one on our territory!" Duckpaw growled and his neck fur pricked.
Amberpaw's eyes widened once more, but she showed no signs of leaving or ending the conversation. "You know you're not scaring me, right? I can see through your tough exterior, Duckpaw. Inside, you're just cold and sad, waiting for that flame to arrive and warm you with love." She spoke with so much certainty, Duckpaw almost gave in to her angelic speech.
"You'll never understand," Duckpaw repeated, turning to leave. "This world is hopeless and cold. Maybe for you it seems all bright and cheery, but that's because you're treated differently."
Duckpaw's eyes grew puffy and red. He bolted back towards hurt.
Duckpaw's moss bed grew damp quickly. Amberpaw had arrived moments ago and layed beside him. "Duckpaw, I am with you. I will help you through all of this. Please let me help."
"No!" Duckpaw yowled and hissed at her. "I don't need your help. I don't need anybody's help! I can do this..." He added, his throat closing. Amberpaw's eyes held a hint of sympathy and something else... Duckpaw couldn't quite recall.
Amberpaw leaned in towards him. There faces a claw-length apart. "Please," Her eyes were right in front of his. So close, yet she was so far. Duckpaw broke down again. He pushed his fur into Amberpaw's ginger tabby fur.
"I just can't take it! Oh, Amberpaw, I'm sick of this everyday ordeal." Duckpaw sobbed and pushed further into his denmate's thick fur. Amberpaw made calming sounds and seemed to rock back and forth. Amberpaw licked his head. That's when Duckpaw snapped.
"What are you doing?" He screeched and pushed away. Amberpaw cocked her head.
"What do you mean?"
"You licked me!" He hissed in his squeaky voice. Hissing once more, Duckpaw stormed out of the den. In the clearing, Redstar, his deputy Storkfeather, and a warrior called Windstreak, spotted the small, white apprentice retreating from camp.
Out of the corner of Duckpaw's eye, he saw Redstar, Storkfeather, and Windstreak laughing with each other, then quickly following Duckpaw out. Duckpaw knew what this meant, and tried to advance. He did not want to get beat up today.
Quickly, Duckpaw climbed down the ravine and ran as fast as he could towards a group of trees. He heard the soft cracking of leaves behind him, but it was too late. He realized that the trees were like dead end. Duckpaw turned to leave, when he saw Redstar and his cats right there, cornering him.
"Well, well, well, who do we have here? Little Squeakypaw. Or was it Duckling? Maybe Plainpaw." Redstar grinned and pushed Duckpaw roughly with his red paws. Paws that probably will be specked with blood.
"Yeah, Squeakypaw, whatcha doin' here?" smirked Windstreak. The dark tabby tom pushed Duckpaw even rougher against the trees.
"Maybe he's lost. We should help him remember which ways not to go." With that, Storkfeather stepped forward and teased Duckpaw. He pushed him, bit him, until something snapped in Duckpaw.
"You guys are idiots!" Duckpaw squeaked and jumped on top of Storkfeather. Duckpaw didn't have a great fur colour, or his voice might've been too high, and his size might've been just silly to be an apprentice's, but he could certainly fight.
Duckpaw fought, slashing Storkfeather's face while the deputy cried in pain.
Blood was sprayed across the forest ground. Storkfeather's dark tortoiseshell pelt was clogged with blood and his paws flailed up, trying to block Duckpaw.
"Isolated freak!" Duckpaw was knocked over harshly and pinned by Windstreak.
"You should never attack my cats, you good for nothing she-cat!" Redstar put his unsheathed claw right above his right eye.
"But you are all my family, too!" He gasped as he flinched, ready for the pain. For the last time, Duckpaw opened his right eye and stared into the eyes of his leader.
"Yes, but that doesn't mean they can like you, my son." Redstar slashed and blinded Duckpaw.
His father and two followers had left long ago, leaving Duckpaw to bleed and bleed and bleed. His sight from his right eye was literally clawed away from him. Taken, leaving him just his left one. What good did just one eye do?
Duckpaw struggled to his feet. He was scratched and tufts of white fur were stuck to the bushes near him. Duckpaw sniffled, then tried not to cry. No! No more tears, he thought. He was done with crying. All it ever did was make things worse. He looked above to the shining stars. Did StarClan care about him, perhaps?
Duckpaw trudged over the ravine. Suddenly, an object shone in the underbrush. Duckpaw looked at the gorse tunnel and back at the underbrush. The white tom dug through until he felt pain pierce through him. Taking his paw out, he saw that his pad had been cut by something.
He set the paw down and looked through the underbrush carefully. His one eye brightened a bit and took out the see-through object carefully.
Duckpaw studied it, and saw that it was sharp, probably a piece from something bigger. A sudden thought danced through Duckpaw's mind. Duckpaw suddenly gasped. In a world as cold as mine, he thought, this could be my way out!
It was a very saddening yet great thought, but then Duckpaw heard someone coming. Quickly hiding his find, Duckpaw turned just in time to see Amberpaw staring intently at him.
"What are you doing?" she asked. Duckpaw shrugged and they stood looking at each other for a long time. "Uh, well, let's get to camp. It's getting pretty dark." She finally broke the silence and led Duckpaw to camp. When they finally got to their den, it was then that Amberpaw realized his eye.
"Great, StarClan, Duckpaw, what happened?" She gasped and studied her denmate all over. "Great gosh, you're hurt everywhere!" Duckpaw pushed Amberpaw away.
"It's nothing," he lied. "Just..."
"Just some pretty severe injuries! Let's get you to Rosebird right away!" Before he knew it, Duckpaw was taken by the scruff and hauled to the medicine cat's den.
The smell of herbs and the forest reached Duckpaw's nose and whirled all around him. Rosebird was there, arranging herbs carefully.
"Hello, Amberpaw, what can I do for--" She turned and stopped mid-sentence when she saw Duckpaw. "Er, sorry, Amberpaw, I'm a bit busy right now." Rosebird turned back to her herbs and Amberpaw frowned.
"Rosebird, I want you to treat Duckpaw right now." She demanded. Rosebird sighed and turned back to Amberpaw and Duckpaw.
"Fine," she mumbled and fished through the pile of herbs at her side. She took out some marigold and cobweb then came up to Duckpaw. The tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat wrapped a ton of cobweb around Duckpaw's head and right eye, applied marigold then cobwebs on his scratches. They stung, but that wasn't as bad as Duckpaw's day today. Or any day.
"There you are," Rosebird breathed. Duckpaw nodded his thanks but didn't speak. He was too busy thinking...
"Thanks, Rosebird!" Amberpaw called on the apprentices' way back to their den. Amberpaw settled Duckpaw into his den carefully and lay beside the white tom. Duckpaw stiffened at the touch of Amberpaw's fluffy fur. Finally, Duckpaw layed his head down on her flank and his eyelids grew heavy, until he finally went to sleep.
Am I actually feeling lo-- His thought was cut off when he felt the sharp tug of his scruff and Duckpaw being pulled away from Amberpaw and his den. Duckpaw looked over his shoulder and gasped. It was Flutterwing and Marshfoot.
"Let's go, Duckling, we have a special treat for you." Flutterwing smirked. Duckpaw's green eyes widened as he put two and two together. Dirtplace!
Quitely, the two young warriors hauled Duckpaw into the smelly den. Duckpaw grimaced but the two warriors didn't seem to care. There was a pile of dirt a tail-length away.
"No, please!" Duckpaw squeaked. Flutterwing grabbed Duckpaw's scruff with her jaws and held his tail in place. Marshfoot put his huge paws on the back of Duckpaw's head.
Then Duckpaw felt his face meet warm, mushy, dirt.
Duckpaw tried in vain to get out, but yet again, like when he was a kit, the two older cats pushed him further and further until Duckpaw heard their laughter leave the den. They were gone.
Finally, Duckpaw was able to get out of the dirt. His face still held remnants of it. Yet again, they mastered the art of making him cry.
Duckpaw knew this was the last straw.
So he ran, out of camp and down the ravine. He reached the underbrush where he hid the see-through object and took it out. Feeling for the sharpest edge, Duckpaw's whole life flashed before his eyes. This was it. His ticket to peace, harmony... love?
Grabbing the object and placing it into the soil so that the sharp edge was sticking out, Duckpaw closed his eye. "Goodbye world," he whispered to himself.
Duckpaw felt flesh being torn and dug the object deeper. Blood oozed out and pooled around the small apprentice. His energy flowed with the blood and escaped out of his body. There was a large slit in his throat where more and more blood poured out.
Pawsteps and crunching leaves sounded, but Duckpaw's vision was already growing blurry. His energy was gone, and he felt light-headed. A familiar ginger tabby pelt appeared.
"Duckpaw!" she yowled. Amberpaw lay down next to Duckpaw. He was laying on his side, gasping for air.
"Duckpaw," Amberpaw meowed quitely, "what have you done?" Duckpaw saw the arms of relief so out of reach. Yet, they were coming closer. He slowly seemed to fade away, until he was no more than a soul travelling upwards. But right now, he was still here.
"Hi, Amberpaw," Duckpaw barely spoke.
"Shh, don't try and talk." Amberpaw mewed through tears. A couple fell on Duckpaw's cheek, warming his cold, lonely, insides. He finally realized it: love.
"Amberpaw, I see love." Duckpaw gasped. He felt his life ebbing away. A soft drizzle began to fall, mixing with the blood and soil.
"What do you mean, Duckpaw?" Amberpaw asked through sobs.
Duckpaw chuckled and lifted his paw to touch her face. "Love has a face, Amberpaw. And a name too. A beautiful name. Do you know what it is? It's Amberpaw."
More tears cascaded down Amberpaw's cheeks and onto Duckpaw's.
"Please, don't go, Duckpaw. I love you. I've always have. Please, I can help you. Please!" She added with a yowl when she saw Duckpaw shake his head.
"It's alright, my love. We have parted for now, but we will be reunited once again, in a harmonial place I like to call StarClan. Look to the stars, my love, when you want to see me again. I'll be there for you. I... love you too."
Amberpaw cried to the skies and buried her face in Duckpaw's white fur.
"Lick my head one more time," Duckpaw breathed. Amberpaw lifted her head and gave Duckpaw the last feel of love.
"Bye, my darling Amberpaw." With one last gasp, Duckpaw went limp. His soul traveling now to the stars, away from hurt and bullying.
Bullying that cost his life.
Every year, about 4,400 young people die because of bullying.
I made this story to show you all the importance of not bullying.
Every action you make negatively against someone can cause them their life.
Think before you act.