June 9, 2019 at 7:49 pm #1151
The moon shone softly in the night sky, giving all surroundings a blue tone. Most creatures that would be awake during the day were asleep now. Anything nocturnal would be well hidden, so Sootpaw was utterly alone and he was grateful for it. The sounds of the rapids blocked out almost every other noise, which Sootpaw was extremely grateful for. No more chattering in the apprentice den. Just the sound of water. You’ll be a warrior soon, give it a few more days until Rainstar gives you your full name. With a sigh, the tomcat looked up at the sky and watched the stars flickering above him. It was nice to have some alone time, as it seemed every single time he went out of the camp to be alone, someone found him and forced him into a conversation.
Sootpaw took a deep inhale, the smell of water and fresh air filling his grateful lungs. He found that water comforted him, the freedom that the waves had and the life they held. If only. Glancing back at the sky, he found that the stars shone brighter than a moment ago. It must be my imagination. There’s no one up there. It was moments like these that made him question his beliefs. Sootpaw was always a if I can’t see, hear, or smell it, it doesn’t exist type. But when he was alone, surrounded by nothing but his thoughts, he began to wonder if there really is something more. Something he can’t touch, but he can feel.
“No, it’s illogical.” The tom nodded unsurely before letting out a sigh and bringing his gaze down to the water. Something he knew was real, something he could hear, see and feel. Something that could calm him instead of fill him with uncertainty. With another, more quiet sigh, the tom settled down, his fluffy tail curling around his legs. He was alone with his thoughts.June 9, 2019 at 7:49 pm #1153
There was something special about the night as compared to the day. Perhaps it was how the moon shone softer than the sun did, and bathed everything in a cool and gentle light rather than a blinding glare, or the way it cast dramatic shadows upon the ground. Hollowpaw was unable to place the sensation it truly gave, but it made no difference, he still preferred this time of hour and usually found himself awake past others time, his green eyes simply watching as nature danced in the pale shine from the moon above.
However, today the young apprentice was feeling especially restless, and had lately been occupied within his mind, wondering things and finding it harder to sleep than usual. He sat, outside the apprentice den, his ears alert and listening as the camp breathed softly around him, but he wanted to move about. Perhaps this was why he had found himself in a silent stalk after Sootpaw. Hollowpaw wasn’t entirely sure it had happened, his dark fur slinking after the older apprentice in silence, and he found it odd within his nature. The tom usually stuck to himself, and he blamed his love for a good thrill on why he was sneaking out right now, as well as the restless feeling buzzing in his skull.
Staying unknown to Sootpaw, who had now stopped at the Rapids, he swallowed, starting to feel uneasy. Why had he come out here? This was a horrible idea, wasn’t it? Ah, but the water looked so beautiful at this time of night…
Hollowpaw shook his head, annoyed with himself. Surely he would get in trouble for this. Though, he was also curious why Sootpaw had left camp alone, that wasn’t within his privileges either. It was still best he didnt confront him though. Hearing the elder apprentice mutter something to himself, he took a step back, and rather clumsily stepped back on a twig, which mockingly snapped. His emerald eyes flickered down with alarm, and then back to Sootpaw before he flattened himself in the shadows, hoping the noise of the Rapids had concealed him as his dark pelt did.June 9, 2019 at 7:50 pm #1155
Pantherpaw and his siblings had usually stayed up late when they were still kits and tonight was the first night that they had been made apprentices. Of course they were too excited to go to bed with everyone else! His yellow eyes flickered in the dark as he watched another apprentice leave, only to prick his round ears forward when he noticed a second follow. Was it a secret or something, for the two of them to leave alone at night, after everyone else had gone to bed?
The black dappled apprentice grinned quietly to himself. He surely didn’t want to be excluded from this opportunity. Pantherpaw turned to look back at his siblings, Koipaw and Sorrelpaw and he whispered to them, “I just saw two other apprentices sneak out of camp. Let’s follow them, but be careful not to let the warriors spot you!” He snuck out of the apprentice’s den with his body flat to the ground. It was easy for him to slip out of camp unnoticed, with his dark pelt. Maybe not so much for his siblings, but he didn’t have time to think about that.
The young tom took one spare look over his shoulder as he was out of the RiverClan camp to make sure that his littermates had indeed made it out of camp before he turned back around and followed the scent trail of the other apprentices. He had not yet had a chance to really explore the territories himself, so he made the journey with hesitant pawsteps before the small group came upon the rapids.
He felt his heart jump in his throat. Every young apprentice knew how dangerous the rapids could be! They were taught as kits even, that RiverClan’s territory could drown anyone if they were not an experienced swimmer and Pantherpaw certainly hadn’t his first swimming lesson yet. What in the world were Sootpaw and Hollowpaw doing out here?
He caught sight of one of the apprentices sitting before the rushing waters, gazing up alone at the sky. He didn’t see the other tom just yet, but that didn’t stop him from puffing out his chest and heading towards Sootpaw with his tail up challengingly. “What are you doing out here!?” He called upon his approach, “Don’t you know how dangerous the tides are??”June 9, 2019 at 7:50 pm #1156Sorrelpaw ~ RiverClan ApprenticeSorrelpaw has been busy with fixing up her new nest to be bothered with the fact that Sootpaw and then Hollowpaw had disappeared from the apprentices den in the dead of night. Smirking silently to herself as she pulled out a burr from the depths of the dried moss, pupils narrowing slightly with annoyance as she glanced to the left where she noticed that Koipaw had a few burrs in his nest, but seemed oblivious. “Let me get those.” She meowed in a simple tone, reaching her paw out as she extended her pearly white claws, tugging the burrs from the nest. Ears twitching from the sound of Pantherpaw’s voice as he suddenly turned to both her and Koipaw, firey pumpkin orange eyes finding the black spotted tomcat in the shadows of the den. Two apprentices snuck out?Sorrelpaw wondered to herself, a eyebrow arching over her firey eyes before Pantherpaw suddenly turned on his heel to hurry after the other two apprentices. “Oh Fish Brain.” She muttered under her breath, looking towards Koipaw as she jutted her slim jaw towards the exit of the den. “Come on, Koipaw.” She sighed.Eyeing the warriors that were stationed around the entrance and exit of the clearing, her eyes adjusting to the darkness as her chin turned to the right, just barely seeing the long tail of Pantherpaw as he slipped behind a bundle of tall reeds, lips parting slightly as she scowls. Their first night as apprentices and Pantherpaw wanted to run off at night.. to who knows where. Can’t let him go alone. She thought silently to herself, using her long splotched tail to stop Koipaw, leaning back and whispering in his ear. “Stay low and be quiet.” She muttered softly, nose lightly brushing against his ear before she lowered her small and slender figure against the ground. Dainty paws being carefully placed against the ground as she slipped from the apprentices den, keeping the shadows so her lighter colored pelt wouldn’t be too noticeable. Black nose twitching slightly from the scent of Pantherpaw, having no choice but to follow the scent of the dark furred tomcat in order to catch up with him. Glancing around cautiously, she swiftly slipped through the gap in the reeds, her sleek fur pushing the reeds quietly. Eventually the small she-cat stepped out from the bundle of reeds, slinking quietly as she could through the tall grasses.Everything seemed unfamiliar, pupils narrowing faintly as she took in her surroundings. The tall grass surrounded her, making her feel smaller than she really was, mouth parted slightly as she continued to follow the scent trail of Pantherpaw.. Koipaw would catch up, wouldn’t he? Shaking her head of the thought, she continued to weave through the tall grass before she finally found her way out onto flattened grass and a dirt trail. The base of her pelt was a soft white, while dark red and deep black stripes and splotches painted her pelt, giving her a mysterious appearance in the shimmering pale light of the moon. Ears twitching from the roaring sound of the rapids, water crashing against stone and soil, causing Sorrelpaw to look toward the rapids with a quiet wonder. They were dangerous yes.. but couldn’t a girl imagine conquering the rapids?Turning her head, ears twitching forwards as Pantherpaw spoke, her eyes narrowing as he puffed out his chest and faced Sootpaw, raising an eyebrow as he challenged the older apprentice. Are you kidding me right now? She groaned internally, looking between the two cats. “Seriously Pantherpaw?” She hissed quietly, ears laying flat against her slender cranium, taking slow steps forward. She wasn’t aware that Hollowpaw was nearby, until she caught his scent, eyes immediately roaming towards the tall grass in which he was hiding. Glancing towards Pantherpaw and Sootpaw before her firey eyes roamed back towards the tall grass. She couldn’t see Hollowpaw, but her nose never lied before. The second cat. She thought to herself, a slight smirk rising along her lips as her long tail flicked in Hollowpaws direction. Come out. Come out.June 9, 2019 at 7:51 pm #1157
Koipaw, normally, was very bossy in making sure the littermates at least tried to get to sleep in a timely matter, not that they ever listened. Tonight was different as he too seemed to be filled with boundless energy given their new found roles. His bright blue eyes danced around the den, trying to grow accustomed to their new sleeping quarters, rather than actually fixing his nest. A small purr rumbling from him as a small “Thanks!” was directed towards his sister, thankful they all had each other in their new journey.
Koipaws ears flicked as the voice of his brother caught his attention, Sneak out? Not on my watch! With his chest puffed out the tom addressed his larger brother, “Pantherpaw, it’s against the rules you’ll get in trouble!” Though his warning seemed to fall on deaf ears as the darker coated sibling was long gone. His sister coaxing him to follow their mischievous littermates. The young feline let out a snort in disagreement, “You fish brains go get in trouble, I’m staying here!” His back turned towards the camp entrance, to further exaggerate his feelings.
Hoping the two had changed their minds, the patched tom peaked behind him, no sign of his littermates. A long sigh following his thoughts Gotta stick together! Reassuring himself the feline leapt to his paws, silently following the scents of his denmates out of the camp. Luckily he had ease keeping track of the familiar scents of the cats, it was no surprise since he grew up with their smelly tails.
With his siblings in sight the tom rushes to his siblings sides, “Pantherpaw, you shouldn’t be out here. It’s dangerous” For more reason that one, mom will kill us for coming out here. His eyes darted towards the other apprentice, “You shouldn’t be here either, everyone knows the rapids aren’t safe, even kits” His head pushed into his brothers side attempting to deter him away from the situation. Knowing his sister would hopefully back him up.June 9, 2019 at 7:51 pm #1158
It seemed as if Sootpaw was cursed to always be bothered when he least wanted it. Though the rapids were loud, the snapping of a twig echoed in his ears. Here we go again. Turning around, he noticed a body quickly hiding in the shadows. The tom rolled his eyes and took a few steps forward, tail twitching irritably. “I can never get any peace and quiet.” He muttered under his breath. But before Sootpaw could say anything to the first apprentice, he saw a smaller one bumbling and waddling towards him.
At first, shock filled Sootpaw’s blue eyes, but it soon turned into an icy gaze. The apprentice stood on all fours, towering over the newly made apprentice as an intimidation tactic. Sootpaw was one of the oldest apprentices in the clan, just a few days away from his warrior ceremony. This one, Pantherpaw was it, was barely old enough to be out of the nursery. Sootpaw glared down at Pantherpaw for a moment, obviously annoyed. “It’s dangerous for kits who haven’t learned how to swim.” He responded, his voice cool and levelled. “So I’ll be fine, even if I fall in. I’ve learned how to swim, my legs are long and strong enough to keep up with the current. But you? Not so sure about that.” The apprentice paused, looking Pantherpaw up and down. “Even if you’re a new apprentice, one of the first lessons you get is to know when to pick your battles. You’re barely six moons old, and yet you still decide to walk up to me as if you have the training of a full-fledged warrior.“
The grey tabby scoffed, shaking his head before settling back down, watching as Koipaw reached his brothers’ side.“And better yet, you brought a hoard of apprentices with you. You two are acting as if I plan on going for a swim. I’m not going to fall in, either.” He sighed, wondering how these two became apprentices in the first place. Sootpaw glanced behind the smaller apprentice to where the others were hiding. “You and your siblings still have the smell of milk on you, and Hollowpaw… well… he’s a bit clumsy. Aren’t you, Hollow. You can all come out now.”
He let out a sigh as the younger apprentices emerged from the bushes. “If it were just me, I could avoid getting in trouble so close to my warrior ceremony. But now that I have a couple of new apprentices following me for Starclan knows what reason, we’ll all get caught.” His icy blue eyes glared at all four of them, ears twitching. “So does anyone want to tell me why they decided to follow me?”June 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm #1159
He’d been noticed, that much was obvious, and he wasn’t pleased about it either. Hollowpaw stayed silent, hoping he was still unseen, but the icy eyes that laid upon him said otherwise. The tom swallowed, regret prickling at the pads of his paws as he considered trying to back away and make a run for it. These thoughts were foiled though at the sound of hushed voices rising behind him, as well as many scents filling his nostrils.
His head turned, green eyes leering at the flood of other apprentices that had apparently also fancied a night out, meeting Sorrelpaw’s face as she seemed to notice him. The darkly colored tom then gave his attention back to Sootpaw, who was now addressing his with apparent disappointment for the lot of them.
“…Well, you snuck out too, Sootpaw.” Hollowpaw stated after a moment, slowly slinking out. He just thought he would point that out to the other, to save their fur a little, even though the older tom had also already brought it up. That and he had just been labeled as clumsy before the whole lot of them, which he wasn’t super glad to hear. The apprentice sighed, shuffling his paws a bit.
“Look, I didnt mean any harm by it. I just got to wondering what the rest of our territory looked like at night, and I couldn’t sleep. And just look, doesn’t the water look quite enchanting under the moon like that?” He asked aloud, paws slowly trying to carry him to the waters edge. The way it rushed and churned was almost hypnotizing…June 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm #1160
Pantherpaw remained oblivious of his siblings’ indignant responses to his recklessness, willingly-so. He didn’t want to hear that his escapades were stupid, or dangerous, or that they shouldn’t be out here. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It went in one ear and straight out the other. Unless they were hyping him up and telling him that his ideas were genius, the dark-furred dappled apprentice didn’t hear any of it.
He stuck his chin up towards the night sky at Sootpaw’s snooty response. Just because he was an older apprentice, and would be a warrior soon, didn’t make him any better than the rest of them!
“We followed you because you snuck out at night all by yourself! You’re no supposed to do that. If you’re such a great warrior then you should know better!” Pantherpaw retorted sharply.June 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm #1161Sorrelpaw ~ RiverClan ApprenticeThe young molly was simply annoyed with all these males, the audacity they all had with one another was annoying. Firey orange eyes flickered towards Sootpaw as the older cat seemed rather annoyed with their presence and she could understand why, but he wasn’t any better than they were really, and he had been the first of the horde of apprentices to sneak out of the camp. With the roaring of the rapids in her ear, she could have sworn she was going half deaf, although the death glare she threw towards Sootpaw, she had heard him just well enough. “We May be young, but any cat knows it’s stupid to come to the rapids alone.” She smirked, although her words were clearly forgotten as Hollowpaw and Pantherpaw were sticking their noses into the other tom cats business.She groaned inwardly as she looked towards her brother, the black dappled Tom seemed to ooze with fake authority as he tried to boss the older apprentices around. “Toms.” She muttered softly under her breath, lowering her rump onto the ground as she glanced between all four tomcats, Sootpaw, Hollowpaw, Pantherpaw, and Koipaw. Watching them bicker back and forth about why Sootpaw had left the camp unattended and why all the other young apprentices had followed. She glanced towards Hollowpaw as he mentioned that Sootpaw wasn’t any better than they were, he still needed a warrior! Right he was, but Sorrelpaw was growing annoyed and bored with their talk. “Why do we really care for what Sootpaw was doing out here?” She questioned, head pointed up so her voice could try and travel along the tomcats. “We are all out here anyways.. why don’t we explore just a bit instead of arguing and drawing attention to ourselves by a night patrol?” She questioned, finally standing up as she trotted to where she was standing in the middle of the four Pickering tomcats. “Honestly, shut up.” She quipped, long tail sticking in the air as she trotted past them all, eyes bright as she took in the sight of the rapids.The water was high and was rapidly crashing against the stones in the middle of the raging river, chin tilting slightly as she looked towards the right of her, spotting a slight marine where one could get a better look. Glancing over her shoulder blade, she eyed the four toms. This she-cat was not about to let their arguing and egos get in the way of her adventure. “Suit yourselves.” She teased, voice light and airy as she walked along the edge of the ravine, although she wasn’t close enough that she would fall in.June 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm #1162
A long sigh forced its way out of Koipaw, honestly this whole situation didn’t sit well with the tom. His eyes glanced between the apprentices, None of us should be here. To him, age didn’t matter, they were all apprentices, and apprentices shouldn’t be out at the rapids alone.
Seeing that his words would be wasted on the other toms, Koipaw made his way to his sisters ear, the only reasonable one, “Sorrelpaw we really shouldn’t be out here. What if something happens?” He hoped that the she cat would see things his way. Of course the tom was wrong as his sister then suggested they all explore together. The disappointment in the feline was obvious as he separated himself from the group, tried of bickering.
The sight of Hollowpaw traveling closer to the edges of the rapids caught the cautious apprentices attention. His paws swiftly carrying him to the toms side, “Hollowpaw, lets maybe take a few steps back, it’s dangerous to be this close.” His voice was quiet and soft, trying to reason with the tom.June 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm #1163
The tom let out a heavy sigh, knowing that them being caught was inevitable at this point. And these four seemed hell-bent on turning the blame on the elder apprentice. With an irritated twitch of his ear, Sootpaw took a deep breath in an attempt to keep himself calm. There was no use in getting too angry, it would only make everyone else react with more fire. Instead, he would try a levelled, reasoned conversation.
“Yes, I snuck out. I can’t deny that I did something wrong. But there are a few things that you are all missing.”Sootpaw began as if he were in a debate and had to defend his side. “First of all, I have my training and I know the territory. Save for some training Hollowpaw got, you all are lacking in that area. What if a badger came? What if one of you fell into the rapids? What would you do in that case? With no training, you’d all die.” The grey tabby had always been an intense and blunt character. “Even if I am here and one of you get hurt, it’ll be because of me.”
“Secondly, I have managed to sneak out by myself for moons without getting caught. But now with such a large group, we’re definitely going to be caught. Who do you think will get the harshest punishment? A couple of six-moon-old apprentices who are expected to get up to trouble, or me?” He gave them a moment to think about the answer but interrupted before any of them could speak. “I would get in the most trouble because more is expected of me. So if I come back to the camp followed by four younger apprentices, they’d see me as the one who was responsible for this whole thing.”
“Thirdly -” Sootpaw broke off, watching as the group moved towards the rapids. He listened to Hollowpaw’s reasoning with furrowed brows, shaking his head. Koipaw’s voice made Sootpaw forget about his third point, getting up and moving towards the group. “Hollowpaw.” Sootpaw snap, his voice a growl. “Move back, you’re going to fall in.”June 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm #1164The squabbling of what the other apprentices were saying to each other became drowned out in Hollowpaw’s ears. He trotted carefully, coming closer to the river’s edge when suddenly approached by Koipaw. However, the tom didn’t look at him, his green eyes stuck on the surface of the raging water a few feet from his paws, and if he had heard what the other said he didn’t even show it.He just wanted a closer look, that was all. The sound of the churning ways clogged his mind and somehow eased him, like white noise, hypnotizing and soothing. The tom was quite sure that if he fell asleep at the rivers banks, it would be the best slumber he had ever had.Finally though, the nagging of the cautious others seemed to reach him, and he sighed heavily. “All I want is a bigger picture of it all. It’s amazing right? A force of nature completely out of our control, its really something to look at. If I have to wait until I’m a warrior to have such a view again then just give me a minute.” The apprentice began to step forward. “I’ll be caref-WAH!”His words were all for not. One paw set down upon particularly slippery stone, soaked by the river’s spray, and as he scrambled to collect his footing he slid forward until falling right in. There was nothing but the river’s violent churning before his dark ashen colored head bobbed up, a gasp screaming from his lungs. Well, he had gotten the full enclosure of the water he had wanted, but not exactly the way he had planned it to be.Hollowpaw kicked his legs madly against the greedy current, chin lifted to keep afloat, his calmness replaced with violent instinctual reaction. He had to get out, he had to, but he was growing so tired already with the force behind each kick, fighting to keep his green gaze open and air in his chest.June 9, 2019 at 7:54 pm #1165
Sootpaw’s irritable tangent was the only thing that took up Pantherpaw’s attention– not his sister’s exhaustion at their quarrel, not Hollowpaw walking too close to the edge, nor even Koipaw’s timid expression of concern; his yellow eyes remained locked on Sootpaw as he once again rejected his attitude.
“You’re not my mother, or Rainstar, or my mentor, or even a warrior just yet!” He spat back, “You hold no authority over us, so get over yourself!” As much as the black tom would love to continue nagging the older apprentice, his attention was snapped back behind him at the sound of something heavy making contact with the water’s surface.
Horrified, Pantherpaw watched, stunned in place, as Hollowpaw plummeted into the rapids. Of course, the underlying threat had always been there, but he didn’t think that any of them were actually careless enough to fall in! Unsupervised, at that! There wasn’t a warrior in sight, every cat here was just an apprentice that had snuck out alone at night.
His heart raced in his chest– what were they do to?June 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm #1166Sorrelpaw ~ RiverClan ApprenticeThe young molly hadn’t been as close to the edge as Hollowpaw had been, fiery orange eyes narrowing slightly as the taller and older tomcat just kept moving towards the edge of the water. “Um.. Hollowpaw.. maybe you shouldn’t get so close.” She meowed, eyebrows pulling together in both annoyance and confusion with the fact that Hollowpaw argued with everyone reasoning and just kept moving towards the edge. Was he really as clumsy as Sootpaw was saying he was, chin tilting in worry as she glanced towards Pantherkit, who appeared hell bent on arguing with Sootpaw. Eyes then switching to the white and ginger patched form of Koipaw as she gave her brother a look. “Koipaw, a little help here.” She grumbled in annoyance.Although, her head turned back towards Hollowpaw as he argued, but her eyes were on his paws as they slipped against the wet stone of the ravine that kept the raging rapids at bay. Eyes widening in the sockets as everything seemed to happen in slow motion, the body of the other apprentice slipping over the edge of the ravine. This all happened in slow motion, dainty paws scrambling against the ground as she tried to catch Hollowpaw before he fully went over the edge. Sorrelpaw was a whisker too late from her jaws chomping down. “No! Hollowpaw!” She yelled out, a gasp leaving her ivory lips as she gazed down at the white roaring river. Eyes wide as she watched the raging rapids, the fur along her spine was rising with anticipation as she waited for Hollowpaw to appear.Eyes brightening as Hollowpaw’s head broke the surface, didn’t take long for her small body to instantly react. Small paws hitting the ground as she started to run along the edge of the ravine to follow Hollowpaw as the river carried him. “Come on!” She yelled over her shoulder, eyes narrowing in on the apprentice that was struggling to keep his head above the water. Unfortunately she hadn’t been given the lesson of swimming, as far as she knew neither had her brothers. The only other option was Sootpaw, he was almost a warrior. “Sootpaw! He’s over there!” She called, climbing over a flat stone that was in her way before she continued running. They didn’t have a Warrior with them, the next best thing they had to save Hollowpaw was Sootpaw.June 9, 2019 at 7:55 pm #1167
The bickering behind them seemed to be coming to no end, leaving the apprentices to their own accords he continued to try and talk to the hypnotized tom. The voice of his sister did manage to catch his attention for a moment, “Sorry sis I’m a little busy here myself” Koipaw trusted his sister to defuse the current situation with their brother.
Being the closest to Hollowpaw the ginger and white pelted tom cat got an up-close look at the disaster. His muzzle reached out to try and grab his fellow apprentice along with his sister, unfortunately both missed. Koipaw, still being closer than he should to the rapids himself, lost his footing, sliding into the rapids. The feline wasn’t under the waters spell like Hollowpaw so luckily for him he was able to catch himself on the bank, his tail end being the only thing to hit the water. Pulling himself up, the tom scurried away from the water, heavy breathing as he water in terror as the others ran to Hollowpaws aid.
Even though his fall wasn’t anything like Hollowpaws it was enough to scare the young apprentice. His eye were wide as he looked around for help, but it was only the apprentices. He sure hoped Sootpaw knew what he was talking about when he bragged about almost being a warrior.
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