Strangers in the Shadows
Series: The Rise Series
Allegiances: Leopardclaw's WindClan Allegiances
Preceding: The Tail of a Friend
Succeeding: Allegiance of the Ancients
|StarClan have forseen doom. The first part of the prophecy has come true. But nearly Leafbare, just as Cloudpaw is about to become a warrior, a grave mistake is made.|
"We can't keep waiting. It's nearly leafbare, and they've been gone for just under a moon." Webstar had nearly given up.
"No! They will return! They must return! The prophecy!" Bravesoul tried to comfort his leader, but Webstar looked away.
"StarClan have also forseen doom."
~One Moon Earlier~
Leopardclaw raced over the moor, chasing after her appprentice. Cloudpaw was on her final assessment before she became a warrior. Leopardclaw had lost her when she had dashed off to get a rabbit. Leopardclaw reached the top of the hill. A terrible screeching echoed across the hill.
Cloudpaw had been captured by twolegs!
Leopardclaw ran, and leaped, claws extended towards the twoleg who had Cloudpaw.
And the next minute she was looking from a monster window with Cloudpaw.
Being taken away.
Chapter 1 - LeopardclawEdit
The glass wall was high. Leopardclaw had figured that out. The twoleg who was keeping her and Cloudpaw trapped in this twoleg nest came and poured more kittypet nuggets into the cage. Leopardclaw sighed and laid down, as Cloudpaw ate a few pellets.
"How can you eat that slop." Leopardclaw was digusted that Cloudpaw was eating the food. She was also hungry and grumpy. The little bell in the doorway of the nest rang, and a twolegs and it's kit entered. The kit screeched, and ran over to the cats. Leopardclaw sighed again.
"Look happy. I have an escape plan." Cloudpaw whispered in her hear. Lovely.
The twoleg kit approched the cats, arms outstretched. It screeched again, giving Cloudpaw time to tell Leopardclaw her plan.
"When the twolegs pick us up," Leopardclaw pulled a face, and Cloudpaw mewed laughing. "We go with it for a while, and then jump out their arms and run for the door. It's open." Cloudpaw could hear Leopardclaw thinking 'Oh, great.' The twoleg kit and the other twoleg came and reached out for the cats. In their arms, Leopardclaw had another face ready; she looked unamused.
Cloudpaw, meanwhile, was thinking. The twolegs had started talking to the third twoleg, the one that was keeping the cats. She whispered to Leopardclaw "Three, two, one, jump!" On jump, they leapt out of the twoleg's arms and ran for the door.
Leopardclaw looked bemused, running on the street. Cloudpaw took control. "Follow me," she said, running to somewhere with confidence. "I know some kittypets who live round here. They have a big garden."
Chapter 2 ~ LeopardclawEdit
"Who exactly are these kittypet friends of yours?" Leopardclaw had been asking the same question for a while, but Cloudpaw refused to speak. "Right. I get it. One more question," Cloudpaw sighed, but Leopardclaw persisted, "Will they let us stay with them? And what's a "Garden"?"
"That was two questions!" Cloudpaw was obviously annoyed, but Leopardclaw dared not ask anything else. "A garden is like a small field that most twoleg nests have."
Leopardclaw knew she would not be getting any more answers on the matter. Cloudpa suddenly turned up a narrow alley. Leopardclaw could hear rats scuttling around; a raven cawed in the distance, followed by flapping wings. A piece of paper was stck on a wall; a bin bag was flapping. Leopardclaw puffed up her fur, nervous. Cloudpaw appeared to be staying calm.
Finally, they reached the end of the dark alley. Leopardclaw glanced back, and saw a cat with a purple eye glaring at them. She looked twice, but the cat was gone. Cloudpaw seemed oblivious to what was going on and announced
"We are here! Davy? Sophie? It's me, Cloud!"
Two more cats slipped out from the shadows.
Chapter 3 ~ LeopardclawEdit
A siamese spoke first. "Cloud? It is you. You smell funny. Who is your friend?" The cat's collar bell jingled as she narrowed her eyes toward Leopardclaw. But the fluffy black and white cat seemed a lot more jolly.
"Don't be grumpy, Sophie. It's Cloud and her friend. Cloud isn't stupid. I'm Davy, by the way." Davy turned and spoke to Leopardclaw as he introduced himself. "Come along!"
They headed out into the garden. Cloudpaw was chatting with her friends, telling them about Leoparclaw and the Clans. Leopardclaw was not so talkative. The cat in the alley she could not top thinking about. A glowing purple eye, a jingle but not of a bell.
"Davy?" Leopardclaw asked suddenly. Davy dropped back to where Leopardclaw was walking, leaving Sophie and Cloudpaw talking. "Dou you know any other cats around here? Like, strange cats?" Davy pondered these questions for a long moment.
"I don't quite know what you're up to, but I'll be friendly to you 'till you do something bad 'cause you're Cloud's friend. If you mean strange in appearance, then look no further than Jazzi. She's the oddest cat o' the streets. Rumours say she was captured by the Notails, or Twolegs, and was 'Modified' to get her purple eye. O' course, that's a load of twaddle. She has some disease o' some sort." Leopardclaw ndded her thanks to Davy.
Great. Now I'm up to no good.
Chapter 4 ~ CloudpawEdit
Cloudpaw was happy; she was amongst old friends she thought she'd never see again. "How's Louise doing?" Cloudpaw's other friend, Louise, she would be an elder in the Clans.
"She's fine. A bit deaf and slow, but she's fine." A caterwaul distracted Davy and Cloudpaw. Sophie ran over, Leopardclaw striding behind her.
"Quick, come with me. That signal, that meant the pack are coming. The pack are an elite group of cats who stroll the streets after dusk. They are the rulers after nightfall. If you're out when they're around, there's most likely to be a fight, and if you refuse to join them, well, can't you guess?" Death. Cloudpaw looked towards Leopardclaw; Cloudpaw could tell that she was thinkig Sounds like fun!
Cloudpaw knew that a group on the streets like this was dangerous. If Leopardclaw was going to go and chase after a pack of street cats, she would need to be careful. Those cats were always dangerous. The four cats arrived at a small hawthorn bush, reinforced with twigs and bits of twoleg shiny stuff.
"Here we are," Davy announced. "This is the place we come when the pack's around. Or during raids." Davy clamped his jaws together; obviously having said something he shouldn't. Leopardclaw's face was crinkled with confusion. Raids? Cloudpaw thought.
"Yeah. We didn't want to scare you. We're sorry." Sophie sounded apologetic. Leopardclaw looked as if she was about to blow up; her short temper was shorter than ever.
Suddenly, before Leopardclaw could release her anger, Davy signalled to lie on the ground and be silent. The stench of his fear scent was overwhelming.
"Well, well, what do we have here? New cats? Sophie, Davy, I'd have expected better from you. I'll leave you two, but the newbies? They can come with me."
Chapter 5 ~ LeopardclawEdit
Leopardclaw and Cloudpaw both looked to Sophie and Davy.
"You'll have to go. I'm sorry." Sophie sounded apologetic, but Leopardclaw detected further emotion in her voice.
Leopardclaw led their way towards the pack cat. Cloudpaw's fur was puffed out, Leopardclaw's was still smooth. They met the pack cat out is an alley. Half her head was covered in shadows. She shuffled her front paws where she sat, impatient. Upon her right paw there was a band, red with silver shapes jingling around. Her tail swished, and her visible blue eye glowed.
"Welcome," she greeted them gently. "All new cats mst be logged, whether you're staying or not. You are?" Leopardclaw eyed her suspiciously.
"I am Leopardclaw, warrior of WindClan, and my apprentice, Cloudpaw. We were captured by twolegs and intend to leave as soon as possible." Leopardclaw left an unsaid question in her voice, saying who are you. The other cat stood up, and her other eye was purple.
Leopardclaw recognised her immediatly.
"My name is-" Leopardclaw quietly cut her off.
Chapter 6 ~ CloudpawEdit
Jazzi looked at Leopardclaw in horror, shock, disgust. "How do you know my name?" Jazzi demanded. Leopardclaw did not answer. Instead, she raised her head and spoke.
"I know, I know that you do not belong with the pack," Leopardclaw spoke with more confidence. Jazzi kept a straight face, giving none of her feelings away. "I know you are only alive because the pack fear you. They fear your look, your personality. But really, you are a kindly cat, your tough, nasty shell is an act. I know you can help us." Jazzi looked at Leopardclaw. Then to Cloudpaw.
"You are a very wise cat, Leopardclaw. I admire your intuivity. I can help you. But first I must take you to Sword, Spear and Scythe. The pack leaders, they are feared, though no more than I."
Jazzi led the way through the streets, padding carefully, glaring at every other cat. Leopardclaw padded confidently behind.Cloudpaw trotted after them both, nervous. StarClan, this is all my fault.
Jazzi stopped suddenly, and a voice from the shadows echoed.
"Newbies, Jazzi? Bring them forth." Cloudpaw was not focused on the voice, however.
She was more bothered by the scream.
Chapter 7 ~ CloudpawEdit
Jazzi led them further into the shadows. Into an alley which no cat would know existed otherwise. Cloudpaw was on edge; the thought that the terrible scream she had heard could be one of her friends had shaken her. Jazzi whispeed to both of them. "We are here. You must show respect to these three. They could and would kill you without a second thought." This made Cloudpaw ever more nervous.
"Welcome, newbies. Jazzi has already explained to you the workings of our pack, yes?" Jazzi had gone over to the big cat, and whspered something in his ear. "So, I have the pleasure of addressing Clan cats then. I take it that you both, Leopardclaw and Cloudpaw will not be staying. Such a shame. But, for introdutions, I am Scythe, and my brother here are Sword. My other brother, Spear is.....absent at the moment" A sceam echoed through the alley, louder than before. A sickening sense of realisation filled Cloudpaw.
No! "Louise!" Coudpaw ran blindly towards where she thought Louise would be. Behind her she could hear Leopardclaw, Jazzi, Sword and Scythe chasing after her.
Finally she reached where Louise was. The frail old she-cat was being tortured by Spear. Cloudpaw guessed that she had done something against the pack rules or been caught out after dark. "No!" Louise cried out. "Cloud! Get out of here! He'll kill you!" Spear turned towards Cloudpaw.
"I'll deal with you later" he said, turning back towards Louise. He crouched up, going for the kill. Just as he leaped, the other four cats appeared behind Cloudpaw. Scythe licked his lips. Leopardclaw gasped with shock and disgust. Sword advanced on Cloudpaw. Jazzi leaped.
Straight into Spear's claws.
Chapter 8 ~ LeopardclawEdit
All had moved in slow motion. Jazzi leaping to save Louise. The three leaders fleeing. Jazzi dying.
Cloudpaw went over first. Leopardclaw was frozen to the spot.
Louise spoke. "Thank you, Jazzi. I owe you my life. And you, Cloud. I thought I'd never see you again." Jazzi raised her head and told Louise to run back to Sophie and Davy, and tell them what happened.
Then only Leopardclaw and Cloudpaw were left. Leopardclaw padded over. Cloudpaw licked Jazzi's ears.
"Thank you," Cloudpaw whispered.
"Now you must both get out of here. Keep heading towards the sunset, and you will arrive at the lake. Thank you both. I will now be free, and I'll watch over all the kittypets and loners who live here. I have freed them of the pack. I can be free now too." Jazzi sighed, and closed her eyes, content.
Goodbye, Jazzi. You were so brave. "Come, Cloudpaw, we must bury her. She deserves it."
"Cloudtail! Cloudtail!" The image in the pool of StarClan was one of a cat recieving their warrior name.
"Now they must travel to the past, and complete the prophecy." Lavenderwish said.
"I see no more trouble ahead..... but I cannot see far..." Barkface was trying to see the future.
"Leopardclaw and Cloudtail are now ready." Tallstar said. "But it won't be as easy as they think."