Pelts Made of Stardust

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    It was getting hard to walk. The little tom could feel his hind legs beginning to stiffen up, and the sudden jolts of pain in his chest were becoming unbearable. He’d only ever seen symptoms like this in elders, not young cats like himself, and the fact that he was experiencing them firstpaw was terrifying. He needed to get to his den. As the ShadowClan patrol filed into the clearing, Saplingskies briefly pressed against Hareflight to get her attention. 

    “I-If anybody needs me, I need to retrieve something from our den, I’ll be back…” He murmured, quickly making his way across camp. There was something very wrong. As soon as he was out of sight from his clanmates, violent coughs overtook him as an intense pain erupted in his chest. His breathing quickened as he desperately tried to search for something to relieve his symptoms, something to prevent the inevitable. However, the little tom had no such luck. He suddenly crumpled to the ground as another wave of pain surged through his chest, hot tears stinging his eyes as he thought of Nightbreeze, his unborn kits, his family. He tried to stand, but he was just too weak. He lifted a paw towards the entrance of his den, praying that someone would see him. He didn’t want it to end this way. “H…Hareflight….h…help” He wheezed quietly, unable to find the strength to shout for his apprentice. He knew that there was no helping him now. He would meet his end on a cold den floor, all alone. He wouldn’t get to meet his kits. He wouldn’t get to tell his younger siblings more stories. He would never walk in the forest with his family again. From where he was laying, he could see into the clearing. He could see his mother outside, looking for someone. Was she looking for him? “M….mama….” he whimpered, his outstretched paw falling to the floor with a dull thump “I’m…here…”

    Darkness swallowed the young medicine cat as a final intense pain blazed in his chest. It hurt for a while, then it stopped. Everything was so quiet. So still. Saplingskies was gone.

    Soon, his eyes opened. However, he was no longer in the ShadowClan medicine den. He found himself in a field, all alone. The field was so vast, that no matter which direction he looked, there was nothing but grass. No mountains, no trees, just soft, shimmering grass and a beautiful twilight sky above. He slowly got to his paws and tried to take in the scents around him. There wasn’t anything nearby to smell, though. He knew that he was in StarClan, but… why was he alone? Wasn’t there supposed to be someone to greet him?

    “Hello? Is anyone out there?” He called, ears swiveling to listen for an answer. All he could hear was his own voice, somehow echoing despite the lack of anything for the sound to bounce off of. How strange. Was he supposed to just… sit here and wait? Was he being punished? The latter was more likely, he supposed. That didn’t mean he was just going to stay there, though. Perhaps he would find someone if he moved along. But which way should he go? Each direction looked the same. As if he hadn’t been through enough already, now he had to deal with being alone in a part of StarClan he had never seen before. He needed to get moving if he was going to get to the bottom of this situation. He picked out the biggest star he could see above him and began to follow it, hoping it would take him somewhere, or to someone, familiar. His heart was so heavy from having to leave his family without getting to say goodbye… wasn’t that enough of a punishment? Why had he been dropped off alone in some seemingly long abandoned part of StarClan territory? Hopefully he would be given answers… if he ever managed to find someone to question, at least.

    Hareflight [Mel]

    ShadowClan looked exhausted and damaged, and Hareflight kept a close eye on her clanmates as they returned to camp. She had been hovering, making sure to be there for anyone who needed help, however this eased slightly as the entered their camp clearing, and the healer allowed herself to release an anxious breath. She could handle this. They could handle this. She couldn’t help but feel thankful that she had her mentor alongside her in this whole situation. As if on cue, she felt Saplingskies’ fur on hers and glanced over, ears pricking as he spoke. Hareflight’s bi-coloured eyes remained on him as he scurried away to their den, but her paws stopped moving. Something had seemed.. horribly off about the way he’d spoken to her. With a quick glance around at her clanmates to make sure they were fine for the moment, Hareflight made her way quickly to the medicine cat den.

    Whatever she had expected to find, it wasn’t this.

    Saplingskies was on the ground.

    He wasn’t moving.

    Her body kicked into action without her permission, and she ran to him, crouching beside him. “S-Saplingskies, are you okay? Did you fall? W-What happened? T-Talk to me!” Her words were an insistent whisper, and as the seconds went by, the panic in her chest rose, and the sinking feeling got worse. No, no, no. Did he have any wounds? Who would have attacked a medicine cat? She didn’t see any blood, or anything indeed that would indicate an issue. For a moment, she hesitated, and then pressed her ear to him, trying to find any sense of a pulse. Nothing. She put her paw in front of his muzzle, trying to check, needing to know. He wasn’t breathing.

    Hareflight had never really screamed. She may have thought she had, before now, but the sound that came out of her was unlike anything she’d ever made. “Somebody help!! P-Please!! …P-please..” It wasn’t until she saw the wet droplets falling onto her mentor’s fur that she realized she was crying. What was the use of being a medicine cat if she couldn’t even stop this? She curled up by his body, sobs wracking her. “Saplingskies, p-please, don’t do t-this. I can’t– I need you, I- just.. P-Please.” She continued to sob, her face buried Saplingskies’ brown fur. She was sure the Clan must have heard her call, but what would she even say to them? She hadn’t been able to save him? He had left her sight for a minute… just a minute and he was gone. Would his family blame her? Would Nightbreeze say that Hareflight was the reason he’d never get to meet his kits? Was she the reason? How could she even handle this job without him? She still felt like she had so much to learn from him. She thought she’d had so much time left with him. And he was gone, just like that.


    Hollowflame ~ ShadowClan Warrior

    Hollowflame was currently running his tongue over his chest, since the scuffle between WindClan and ShadowClan, he had gathered a claw mark across his chest. The wound was healing and wasn’t deep, and really hadn’t been aimed for him since he tried to hang back from the fight. Slowly he cleared his throat to dislodge the growing hair ball, pupils narrowing slightly as he noticed a pair of red flanks moving through the clearing, sides heaving from an obvious training session. Deep green eyes zoned in on the two felines, chin tilting slightly as he noticed that Firepaw and Crimsonpaw were smiling and giggling. They both truly looked like twins, Crimsonpaw’s pelt was a deep red like his own but his ears were folded down from his mothers bloodline. However, Firepaw was a much lighter red, almost more like an orange but not quite there. He couldn’t help the smile to that rose to his lips, watching his children smiling and enjoying each other’s presence was really rewarding. He hadn’t paid attention when Saplingskies slipped out of the clearing or when Hareflight rushed after him. His attention was stuck on that on Firepaw and Crimsonpaw, two out of his youngest litter, his tongue roaming over his chest once again to keep his wound clean.

    ”Somebody help!! P-Please!! …” A horrifying scream suddenly echoed around the camp, his ears standing upright instantly and his chin snapping in the direction of the Medicine Cat Den as his mind tried to piece together what had just transpired. Hareflight? He thought, already up on his paws and rushing towards the den as others began to crowd the entrance of the den. “Back up, back up everyone.” Hollowflame’s deep voice rang out, pupils narrowing as he used his broad shoulder blades to push the other warriors and young felines out of the way. Cocoaflower’s soft voice sounded off in his ear, “Hollowflame.. you should go in there.” She spoke, her one yellow and blue eye staring into the den, causing Hollowflame’s eyebrows to furrow before he turned and gazed into the den. He could see a dark figure laying upon the ground, pupils narrowing slightly as he could see Hareflight’s painted pelt hovering over the figure. “What are you talking about, Cocoaflower?” He spoke over his shoulder before he fully slipped into the den, his eyes adjusting to the shadows.

    Upon taking a better look at the body laying upon the ground, he took at least two steps forward before he suddenly stopped. The ground beneath his paws swayed, his vision becoming a little cloudy while his chest was beginning to rise and fall quickly as his breathing became shallow. Pupils narrowing slightly for a moment as his eyes slowly roamed over the brown tabby pelt of his eldest son laying lifeless on the ground. He stared at the flank of Saplingskies for a moment longer trying to see even the smallest hint of that small chest rise and fall. But it doesn’t. The realization hit him, causing him to blink away the tears that had subconsciously gathered within his eyes. “What is the meaning of this? Hareflight?” Hollowflame finally found his voice, watching as the she-cat cried over her mentor. His ears laid flat against his head as he quickly rushed forward, essentially pushing Hareflight out of the way as he lowered his big head and gently pressed his nose along Saplingskies face to try and get a response. “Saplingskies? Saplingskies open your eyes, it’s dad.” Hollowflame spoke with an urgency he didn’t know he was feeling, his heart hammering swiftly within his chest as he gently licked at his sons face. “Why… why won’t he wake up?” Hollowflame questioned, his green eyes flashing towards Hareflight. He couldn’t think beyond the thought that his son, wasn’t breathing.


    Briarfeather nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard the horrible shriek from the medicine den. One moment she had been heading towards the returning battle patrol to reunite with Hollowflame, Saplingskies, and Snappingfox, and the next… She felt frozen. She saw Hollowflame making his way to the medicine den, and she followed. By the time she made her way across the clearing, a crowd had formed outside the den. She began shouldering her way through, addressing her clanmates firmly as she pushed by. “Let me through, get out of my way, step aside, please-” Inside the den was Hollowflame, Hareflight, and….

    An earth-shaking wail of anguish echoed through the camp as Briarfeather spotted the lifeless form of her firstborn son on the den floor. She quickly raced inside, practically shoving Hollowflame to the floor to get to Saplingskies “Get away!” She hissed, curling herself around her poor son. He was already so cold. The chocolate calico’s normally fire-filled gaze was distraught as she looked towards Hareflight with tears in her eyes “W-What happened to my son? What happened to my poor kit?” The little brown tom was uninjured, and he was too young to just be dropping dead like this. She just couldn’t understand. “What about Nightbreeze? What will she do without him?”

    It felt like he had been walking for ages when the sudden sound of laughter began drifting towards him. “Hello?” He called, following the sound. “Who’s there?” He picked up the pace, realizing that it was two cats laughing. Soon he found himself at the end of the field, nearing a forest. He then saw the two blobs of stardust chasing each other around, clearly the source of the laughter. As he approached the source, the starry pelts took form, and he quickly recognized them as two of the first patients he ever lost. “Mistpaw? Swamppaw?” The two young apprentices looked towards him, then back to each other. They giggled, turned, and quickly fled, laughing all the way. “Hey! Wait!” He called after the two apprentices helplessly, ears flattening as he began to chase after them.

    “Wait! Please! What’s happening? Please talk to me!” His attempts to get his cousins to speak to him were in vain, as the only response he would get was laughter. He was beginning to wonder if the cats he was following were really who they appeared to be, but it was too late to turn back now. Even if these were impostors… at least they were leading him somewhere. He hoped. “Guys, please slow down! I don’t understand what’s happening! Please stop!”

    But the young cats did not stop. In fact, it seemed that they were speeding up. Saplingskies charged forward as fast as he could and pounced with all his might, attempting to tackle them, or at least one of them, but before he could make contact, they disappeared. The medicine cat grunted as he hit the ground, tumbling forward and continuing to roll for a few feet thanks to the force behind his pounce. He laid there winded for a moment, shaking his head to clear his spinning vision. He groaned as he heaved himself to his paws, looking around to figure out where he was. He found himself in a clearing, alone once again. The sound of thunder rumbling overhead caught his attention, and he looked up to see dark clouds forming. “But…But it doesn’t rain in StarClan…” He whimpered, crouching low to the ground. “Where am I?



    There were just some events that not even Starclan’s will could prepare you for, today would mark one of the harshest lessons that Nightbreeze would have to learn – today had started out just like any other for the heavily pregnant she-queen. She’d woken up and went through her daily routine, as per usual, nothing had deviated from her schedule. Yet even still, a silent and haunting voice in the back of her mind was trying to warn her that something was amiss. Though, throughout the day she attempted to distract herself from it, not wanting to linger upon what could be wrong for too long. She attributed her anxiety to the fact that she could have her kits any time now, so she just assumed that was the reason for her prickling unease. 

    The dark coated she-queen could have never fathomed what she would stumble across today, her mind hadn’t even conjured up such a tragic scenario. For why would it ever cross her mind that she would find her mate, the love of her life, the one that meant everything to her- still and lifeless within the Medicine Cat’s den- surrounded by his family and friends? 

    Her day melted away as follows, she woke up early, left the nursery to take back some prey for herself and the rest of the queens – briefly stopping by the Medicine Cat den to say hello to her mate, and leave him a piece of prey as well, before she parted with an ‘I love you’ and returned to the nursery. Then once she was finished with her meal, she cumbersomely tottered out of the nursery to go speak with her sister, and catch up on, she asked her how her warrior duties were going and the like.  Truth be told, it was a rather mundane day – she was just going through the motions up to the point that all the stars in her sky came crashing down. 

    She had just woken up from a nap, when a shrill uproar rippled through the entire camp. This prompted her to get up and investigate whatever was going on. 

    When she took notice of the pandemonium crowd around the Medicine Cat’s den, she was… taken aback. Everyone was in a flurry of panic, and she wasn’t able to make out much other than very familiar wails from felines she knew all too well. Among the wails of dismay were Hareflight, Hollowflame, and Briarfeather, to name a few. She heard her name being mentioned by the distraught voice of Briarfeather, this is when she lightly pushed her way through the crowd, apologizing as she asked to be let through. And once she was through, she wished desperately to Starclan that she had just stayed asleep – oblivious within the Nursery. 

    Seeing her mate collapsed on the cold floor of the den, so eerily still – with his family and friends besides him – it tore her heart asunder. The broken pieces began to pulse inside of her chest, as her breathing quickened, her obsidian pupils and her deep blue irises dilated widely as her eyes absorbed the grim visuals before her, the information pierced through her mind, and she almost collapsed at the entrance of the den. 

    Somehow, she managed to stumble forward, despite her body feeling like dead-weight. Once she closed the distance between herself and her mate, only then did he let herself fall to the den floor. She opened her maw, but no words left her vocals, instead all she could manage was a broken and choked up sob, as she struggled to keep her breathing steady. She pressed her nose against Saplingskies’s and tightly shut her eyes.  

    This couldn’t be happening, this had to be some sort of grim night-terror she was experiencing, she must still be taking her cat-nap. Because if this was reality, she wasn’t certain if she was ready to face it, no she knew for a fact she wouldn’t be. More whimpers and sobs left her, before she pulled her muzzle away from Saplingskies ever so slightly, and croaked out, “What happened? Wh-Why….how? He was…. he was just f-fine….this m-morning…I…I don’t… understand…” How had her mate, so full of vitality just this morning now be void of it, in such a short amount of time. 

    Why had this happened? It was clear to her now she wasn’t dreaming, and that meant her mate had been spirited away by Starclan. Saplingskies wouldn’t be there to see the birth of his kits, wouldn’t watch them learn, grow, and perhaps even find love. They wouldn’t be able to grow old together. 

    She’d have to walk the path of motherhood alone, with a shattered heart, and only fond memories to look back on for comfort. However, even then those tender and warm memories would be tainted with an icy-cold bitterness –  because they’d be an ever-constant reminder of what once was and what would never be again.   


    Hareflight [Mel]

    Tears blurred Hareflight’s vision, and the world swayed in front of her dangerously as cat after cat pushed into the medicine den. As her name was spoken, her blurred gaze focused on Hollowflame, and she hadn’t even had time to respond before he was shoving her to the side. The small she-cat managed to stumble off to the side where she crumpled to the floor, sobs still wracking her small body. There were too many voices, and too many cats, and too many questions, and Hareflight didn’t even know what was happening. Had she done something wrong? Was this all her fault? Had she caused her own mentor’s premature death? She hadn’t even realized anyone had come in, or had been talking to her until she saw Hollowflame and Briarfeather both looking at her, a million questions written on their faces. She opened her mouth to say something, anything, but the words weren’t there and all she could do was swallow back another sob. What right did she have to cry over Saplingskies? There was so many cats who had more of a right to this grief, especially since Hareflight wasn’t even there to help him when… She glanced down at her paws as another wave of sobs hit her, and it was at this moment that she realized she was shaking. It had been a long time since she had shaken like this, it was just one of the things that had diminished when her confidence had grown under Saplingskies’ leadership. But now… Without him, what could she possibly do? Could she really be a medicine cat? Maybe she really was just a nervous wreck, and Saplingskies had been wrong in choosing her. 

    And it was too late to even tell him that. 

    Looking up now, she saw Nightbreeze had stumbled in, and further guilt was added to the mix. Oh god, what could she tell any of them? She had to say something. Hareflight made a move to stand, but her legs felt as though there was not a single bone in them, so she remained in her unsteady position on the floor, eyes gazing ever-so-briefly at Hollowflame, Briarfeather, and finally, Nightbreeze. “I” Oh stars, this was so hard. If it had been her that had- … Saplingskies would have known just what to say. How could she ever do this without him? How could any of them? Her voice was a stammered croak when she tried again, and she wondered if they would even be able to understand her. “I-I- I’m- I’m so sorry, I j-j-just came in- in here and he- and he was- and- I c-couldn’t- I tried b-b-but he was- was just-” She couldn’t say it. She just couldn’t. “I-I’m so s-s-sorry. This is-is all my f-f… fault.” I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. This kept replaying in her mind, and at this point she wasn’t sure who it was even directed to. Any composure she had collected vanished again, and her body curled tighter in on itself, a mound of patched, shaking fur. 

    I’m so sorry.


    Hollowflame ~ ShadowClan Warrior

    He shouldn’t have been surprised when Briarfeather basically shoved him out of the way so she could be closer to her son. He didn’t say anything to his mate as he moved out of the way so the chocolate calico could observe and try to waken her kit. Hollowflame’s mind still couldn’t function, eyebrows furrowed as he looked down at Saplingskies, his son’s face appeared so… peaceful. He had lost a child before, Blazemoon, and perhaps it was because his bond with Saplingskies was stronger, but this ‘death’ was a blow. Hareflight had collapsed on the ground of the den, sobs raking her pelt as she too seemed to be lost for words. Briarfeather was being aggressive but he knew it was just because she was heart broken, while he stood there gazing at all of them in a haze. What could he do? His son was dead, dropped to the ground and died.. there was nothing he could do. Slowly he blinked and his green eyes found the black furred form of Nightbreeze, his ears instantly laying back against his head as the heavily pregnant she-cat expressed her grief in loosing a mate. Finally Hollowflame’s soul seemed to be returned to him, causing him to take in a deep breath as he moved towards Nightbreeze, nose tenderly touching her ear. “Take a deep breath.” He said in a soft voice, but they were all in shock although he didn’t want this to cause any harm to both the she-cat and her kits. “Brairfeather..” Hollowflame gently called out to his mate, saying her name one more time before he finally seemed to catch her attention. “Can you try and soothe Nightbreeze? You know I’m terrible at it.” He smiled brokenly, giving his daughter-in-law a swift lick to her shoulder blade in comfort while he gazed down at Saplingskies.

    Ears twitched for a moment as Hareflight began to mumble a mile a minute, causing his chin to turn as he gazed at the calico. She was in shock and instantly began to blame herself, which caused him to click his tongue against the roof of his mouth. “Hareflight. Listen to me.” The large dark red and black spotted tomcat began to walk in the direction of the small she-cat, his eyes narrowing as the tears he had been holding in were now falling freely. “I don’t blame you…” He whispered softly, his throat clogging up as he slowly lowered his head and laid his forehead against Hareflight’s shoulder blade. “I… I don’t blame you… so you shouldn’t blame yourself.” He whispered, leaving his forehead there for a moment before he reluctantly picked up his head and walked back towards his mate and daughter-in-law. 

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