March 3, 2021 at 3:27 pm #11411SoliloquySilverParticipant
Snowpaw was in dire condition, and Milkpaw needed to be prepped for vigil. The whole clan was awake now, and they all wanted to know what had happened…
The reality of what had just happened was finally setting in. Darkstar’s paws were heavy as he made his way to the outcrop, tail dragging behind him. Grief and anger were at the forefront of his emotions now. “Let all cats old enough to swim in the river gather beneath the outcrop for a clan meeting!” He called, his voice sounding as heavy as he felt. It didn’t take long for the clan to gather. Word spread quickly, even in the middle of the night. He took a deep breath, then began to speak.
“Tonight a band of apprentices, led by Edgepaw, snuck out of camp after curfew. I don’t know what goal they had in mind, but clearly whatever it was was more important to Edgepaw than the safety of his clanmates. The clanmates in question were Eclipsepaw, Milkpaw, and Snowpaw. The group was attacked by a pair of foxes, and because there were no warriors with them, they were very much outmatched. Eclipsepaw managed to get away and come get me, and I got there in time to chase off the remaining fox…” He trailed off, allowing the information to sink in before he continued. “When I arrived, Milkpaw had been defeated, Snowpaw had fallen in the river, and Edgepaw was facing the final fox alone. Snowpaw and Milkpaw were both barely alive by the time I got to them and unfortunately, Milkpaw…” The dark-furred tom’s voice broke as he squeezed his eyes shut. The sound of claws scraping against stone could be heard as Darkstar fought to reign in his emotions. This was the first loss of an apprentice RiverClan had faced under his leadership. It could have just as easily been Eclipsepaw or any of his other step children that ended up in the fox’s jaws. “Milkpaw did not survive the journey back to camp, and Snowpaw’s prognosis is very grim. With that knowledge, I ask our warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have learned the warrior code and had their lives stripped from them much too soon. Let StarClan receive them as warriors. From this day forward, they shall be known as Milkfrost and Snowfeather. RiverClan shall honor their memory for the rest of our days.” Darkstar fell silent as mournful cries of the new warriors’ names filled the air. His heart ached for Snowfeather and Milkfrost’s friends and family. He had drifted away into his thoughts for a moment, when a call from the clearing shook him back to reality. “Will Edgepaw be punished?” He didn’t know who asked, but the rumble of agreements that swept the group let him know that several cats wanted to know the answer as well.
Darkstar sighed, then held up his tail to silence the clan. “Yes, there will be repercussions, but that is a matter I will be handling with Edgepaw privately. For now, I want those who wish to sit vigil for Milkfrost and Snowfeather to prepare to do so now. Milkfrost’s body should be presented at any moment. The rest of you may return to your nests. In the morning I will be gathering a patrol to make sure those foxes stay off our territory for good. And as for Edgepaw-“ Darkstar’s gaze hardened as he looked down at the dark apprentice. “You are to report to my den immediately. The rest of the clan is dismissed.” And with that, Darkstar turned and disappeared within the leader’s den to await the guilty party’s arrival.March 3, 2021 at 10:39 pm #11419PheebsParticipant
Eclipsepaw sat quietly, a line of tension in every muscle, his twisting frown accentuating his poor mood. To his side, Edgepaw sat, but he made no move to acknowledge his fellow apprentice. Eclipsepaw was covered in nicks from his frantic race back to find Darkstar, and his pelt was still drying from the brief tumble into the river. In his mind’s eye, the slobbering, snapping jaws of foxes haunted him. Idiot. Shame was not a feeling that the bicolor tom was familiar with, and it sat like a stone in his gut. The unforgiving memories of blood and copper rested heavily on his tongue, and Eclipsepaw could no longer reign in his temper. So, without a lick of hesitation, the tom leaned close to Edgepaw and snarled, “The next time you do something this stupid, it won’t be our friends with blood in their fur.”
The tabby turned on his heel, a relentless fire blazing his way to the Medicine Cat’s den. If anyone tried to catch his attention, it went unnoticed by the youth. His thoughts swirled and mixed dangerously with the bubble of dark emotions in his gut, the emotions he shoved into the subconscious of his mind. He was certain that the acid in his veins was bleeding out of every crack in his armor, still, he desperately tried for arrogant nonchalance. This is your fault. You should have- this could’ve been prevented if you hadn’t- Eclipsepaw paused, glancing back towards Edgepaw’s receding form. The world was painted in hues of grey, and smoke clogged his throat, but Eclipsepaw managed an expression akin to rage (when, really, he felt like a cavern) before pushing into the Medicine Cat’s Den. “Cher? You here?”
The sleek molly rushed out of the Nursery after tucking her little ones into the nest, double-checking to confirm that they were, in fact, asleep. Swanpath managed to stumble into the scene just as Darkstar mentioned Milkpaw’s death, and she felt a bit of guilt when her gold and green eyes immediately shot out Edgepaw. Oh, little fox, what’ve you gotten yourself into now? With an exhausted huff, the queen wove through the crowd with single-minded purpose in each graceful step.
“Will Edgepaw be punished?” The queen called up, already guessing the answer. Mistakes, mistakes. Swanpath wondered, briefly, if this one was a mistake. But she eyed Edgepaw’s hunched form and knew the answer to that, as well.
“Little Cub!” She snapped, voice unreadable. The familiar twinkle of humor in her eye was vacant, as was the half-smile she usually directed at the dark-furred apprentice. “I don’t have to say a word, do I? I’m sure our gracious leader will handle that, won’t he.” It wasn’t a question, obviously. There was, however, a question in her eyes. “I need you to go in there and be as bold as you were facing those foxes- but you need to understand that what you did today was. It was- unspeakably terrible, and we will be talking about it after Darkstar doles out his verdict.” Swanpath tapped his nose with hers, a brief show of affection and support. Her fierce frown didn’t disappear even as she anxiously eyed Darkstar’s approaching form.
“I love you, Cub. Good luck.” The scarred queen straightened up, greeting her leader with a tense nod. Please, he’s so young, he’s so hurt. There was a layer of scars masked by Edgepaw’s reckless, careless demeanor. It wasn’t okay, and it didn’t justify his foolish actions, but Swanpath wouldn’t let the apprentice be banished from Riverclan. It won’t come to that. She hoped. “Evening, Darkstar.” There was weight in her greeting, fierce confidence with the barest hint of uncertainty. She wasn’t officially the Edgepaw’s mother, but she had taken on the role without regrets; she wouldn’t regret it now. Without another word or a single glance to either, Swanpath turned to where cats were bringing in Milkfrost’s body. Drowning. The anxiety prickling and tugging at her was akin to merciless waves- she was amazed she was able to walk away at all.March 7, 2021 at 12:24 am #11460MissaParticipant
The small calico heard her father’s booming voice from inside the medicine cat den but she chose not to get up and head out, but remained inside as she was helping Rainysky prepare Milkfrost’s body for the vigil, Cherrypaw’s eyes went towards Snowfeather who was in a nest nearby, the gray-white molly’s body was covered in any herb that she could think of, Rainysky had quickly instructed which herb would have to be applied and where. The two had worked quickly but now they had to see if Snowfeather would manage to pull through her injuries, Cherrypaw felt an intense amount of sorrow as she looked down at Milkfrost, disappointed that there wasn’t anything that could have been done.. Milkfrost was her first death and it killed her inside because this could have been prevented.
A couple of moments later, Rainysky announced softly that they were finished preparing the body. A couple of warriors came and they picked up Milkfrost’s body and Cherrypaw watched as the warriors had carried his body and prepared the body for the vigil. Her bi-colored eyes were full of sorrow as she watched quietly for a moment before returning to look at Snowfeather, the small calico heard a familiar voice along with her nickname that her family would call her. Turning to look at Eclipsepaw, she stood up and went towards him before Cherrypaw saw the look of sorrow and anger as well, and she rested her face on his neck to embrace him.
Cherrypaw couldn’t imagine what she would have done or felt if it was Eclipsepaw stayed with the group of apprentices, he could have met the same fate as Milkfrost or have been fighting for his life like Snowfeather. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes as she sniffled a bit, relieved that her brother was okay but also feeling horrible with what happened to the two warriors. Eclipsepaw and Cherrypaw usually bickered or would see who could drive each other crazy first.. But she loved him so much, and if anything had happened to him.. It would have been like a piece of her died, with any of her family members whenever it was her siblings or parents.. Cherrypaw didn’t want anything happening like this towards them and she felt horrible for Milkfrost and Snowfeather’s parents.
“Hey Eclip.” Cherrypaw said softly as she embraced her brother, she didn’t care if he pulled back or was going to give her a sarcastic remark.. But she was glad he was ok.
The black-gray tom watched on quietly as Darkstar held the meeting, trying to ignore the many cold looks he had gotten from a majority of Riverclan cats as the leader spoke, while others looked at him in disappointment. Edgepaw couldn’t stand the looks any longer and he looked down at his large paws, he screwed up big time.. His dark green eyes remained emotionless as he kept listening on, he refused to look at anyone in that time being.. What he felt was shame, sadness for Milkfrost and Snowfeather along with anger at himself.
Edgepaw looked up when he heard Eclipsepaw went towards him and threatened him, his dark green eyes couldn’t help but narrow. He knew the young apprentice had a right to be angry at him, everyone did with the reckless thing he did. Letting out a sigh, the black-gray tom wasn’t fazed with the threat as he heard much worse ones and even actions that happened with his own father and his band of rouges. The tom flicked his tail as he acknowledged Eclipsepaw’s words but chose not to say anything and he watched the young apprentice make his way towards the medicine cat den to go see his sister. All he wanted to do was just see Snowfeather, but he knew that a majority of the warriors and even Darkstar himself would stop him easily.
He flinched a bit when he heard Swanpath’s stern voice and he looked over to see the queen making her way towards him, with such a look of disappointment. For the first time Edge’s eyes showed emotion and that was guilt and shame that he disappointed Swanpath, the queen was basically his mother. She was more of his mother than his birth mother and even his half-sister Aurora, for once in his life he actually had someone that generally cared for him as kin (Aurora cared for him, but that was a different story for another time) and he had let her down.
Edge listened to her words carefully and he nodded before he spoke “Whatever happens, I just want you to know that you and the kits have been one of the best things that entered my life.” He said softly, he loved his mother with all of his heart. But he didn’t even know if he would even be allowed to stay in camp anymore and he didn’t want Swanpath and the kits to pay the price of his stupid mistake. He never really opened up to anyone but Snowfeather and Swanpath, and all he did was probably make their lives hell at times.. That he could never forgive himself “I know what I did was wrong, and if I could take it back and take their place.. I would do it in a heartbeat.” Edgepaw said softly as he went towards her and touched noses with her
“I love you too mom, and the kits too. You stay safe.” Edgepaw said to her, he didn’t know if this would be the last time he saw her.. But he had to tell her that he loved them, and if he was banished tonight.. He would carry those fond memories of their time together forever.
Edgepaw turned towards the direction of the leader’s den and took a deep breath as he was silent for a moment before he took a step forward and began making his way towards Darkstar’s den. He ignored all the glares that he was given as he walked what felt like forever until he was at the entrance of the den.
Taking a deep breath, Edgepaw entered the den and it was incredibly tense when he saw Darkstar standing there for a moment, his eyes were cold and his claws were out. The black-gray tom and the leader stood there for a moment. Edgepaw was only afraid of one cat and that was Twilightfoot, he couldn’t help but remember the many moments of trauma that his father gave him and his siblings.. Edgepaw wasn’t afraid of Darkstar, but he knew the leader was very pissed off at him.. Whatever Darkstar was going to do with him, Edgepaw was going to accept it because he deserved it.
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