Hey everyone! I wanted to write a story, and so here it is! I will post here at least once a day. It could also be a few posts a day, if I don't have anything else to do. This is my first one of these. Please comment, and I appreciate critique. Just post appropriate things, no hating, don't be rude, that stuff. I also ask you don't flood the thread with chat. Thanks for reading
Read, comment, and enjoy!
Birds chirped in green tree tops and prey scuffled in the undergrowth. Blue, cloudless skies stretched above. It was a beautiful day. Ferns rustled, sending the forest quiet, and three figures burst through the undergrowth. As the patrol darted past, the creatures of the forest started going back to what they were doing. The patrol soon vanished through the undergrowth and the birds began singing again, and others like mice and voles went back to chewing on a seed or sniffing around.
The group of three had brushed through the ferns until a foul stench hit their noses. In front of the cats a hard, black surface stretched through the trees and disappeared behind a corner. Suddenly, the ground shook. Red flashed, and a large monster zoomed by. It ran around the corner and vanished, leaving the cats in a cloud of dust. A she-cat coughed, the horrible stench flooding over them.
"Let's renew the border." meowed a large tom. The she-cat nodded, and new scent marks were left. The scent would soon be swallowed by the stink of the thunderpath, but the border was always renewed there anyway. One more fresh scent was left, and the patrol headed back towards the trees.
The thunderpath quaked again and another monster rumbled by, this one large and brown. The patrol was unaware as the monster pulled to a halt, glinting under the bright sun. A door creaked open, and a Twoleg stepped out and closed the door quietly behind him. The Twoleg stepped forward, heading towards the cats.
The large tom turned his head, sensing the heavy pawsteps. The Twoleg picked up the pace and raised a long stick, a net attached to the end. "Twoleg! Run!" yowled the pale golden brown tom, dashing for the ferns. The rest of the patrol followed quickly, but the Twoleg ran forward, and with the net, captured the light brown tabby she-cat.
A small black she-cat spun around. "No!" The tom skidded to a halt and turned back, eyes wide with fear. The Twoleg picked up the tabby, went back to his monster, and put her in a cage. "Oh, StarClan, no." mumbled the tom. "I didn't know the Twolegs got out of their monsters here." said the black she-cat. "Me neither. Now we have to get her back!"
The two sped towards the monster, claws unsheathed. The Twoleg towered over them, the net in his hand. The small she-cat darted to one side, but the tom, being heavier, found himself trapped as the net went down. He was put into a cage. The remaining she-cat was glued to the spot. Now what? She didn't have time to think as the net settled over her and she joined her Clanmates in the monster.
The three were alone in the back of the monster. "StarClan, no." breathed the tom. "I-it'll be alright." meowed the tabby, but she couldn't convince them. "What are we going to do now?" wailed the black she-cat. "Calm down." replied the tabby. "And then what?"
Amber eyes eyed the lock on his cage. "It looks like we'll have to wait until the monster stops and the Twoleg lets us out. Until then, we'll just have to stay calm." meowed the tom. Silence fell over the three. After a few moments, the black she-cat broke the silence. "We'll get home, right?" The tom sighed as he admitted, "I don't know."
Silvery moonlight poured in through a window, the yellowish glow of streetlights flooding in around it. It was the only light in the dark, quiet room. In one cage a creature stirred. Silver eyes peered out and around. A tom unsheathed his claws and padded up to the bars of his cage.
Claws glinted in the dark as they reached out of the cage and over to the lock. The twisted, and the lock opened. The door swung open and a black tom stepped into the moonlight. He gave his fur a shake and headed for the door. He couldn't believe he had let himself be caught and be trapped in this prison called a pound. But he wasn't going to be stuck in there.
Just as he was about to push open the door, a voice sounded behind him. "Hey!" The tom turned around and squinted through the shadows. "Over here!" the soft voice called. He padded over to a cage where blue eyes glowed through the darkness. "What?" "Could you help me out of here?" The tom narrowed his eyes. "Sure." With a flash of claws, he unlocked the door.
The door opened and a bewitching light brown tabby stepped out on white paws. She had a snow white chest and a white underbelly. Her light blue eyes twinkled in the moonlight. A long tail lay on the ground behind her. She was beautiful. "Thanks." she meowed, voice smooth and sweet. "Do you think you could get my friends out?" Her tail flicked towards two cages. The tom nodded.
Soon, a large tom and a black she-cat fled their cages. "Thank you." meowed the muscled tom. He had a thick pelt, a light golden brown. "Yeah!" said the black she-cat, her voice high and squeaky. She was small, but would grow. She had pretty green eyes. "No problem." replied the black tom, padding to the door, pushing it open, and padding out. The others followed him.
The cats found themselves in a dim, moonlit room. The black tom was familiar with this place. He jumped onto a high counter and disappeared from the others' site. On the other side of the counter were several drawers. He opened one and pulled out a spare pare of keys, then jumped back over the counter, the keys dangling from his jaws.
The others watched as he padded up to a door and stuck the key in a keyhole. Twisting his neck, the black tom managed to twist the key. Using a key was not easy when you didn't have thumbs, but he got it open. Tossing the key to the side, he headed into the night. Eyes wide, the others followed and looked around outside. "We're really far from home." said the golden brown tom with a sigh. The two she-cats nodded.
"Did you come from the other side of Twolegplace?" inquired the black tom. The brown tabby shook her head. "We came from the forest." "You're really far, then." meowed the tom. "Do you know where the forest is?" asked the golden brown tom. The black tom though for a moment, then answered, "Yes, I think so. I've been to the border of it once or twice. It's a while away from here, and that was a while ago, but I think I could take you."
"Thank you!" said the tabby. "Hopefully we'll be able to get back home now. Oh, and I'm Robinbrook. He's Cougarleap and she's Cricketpaw." she meowed, pointing with her tail to each one. The black tom nodded. "I'm Torrent." "Nice to meet you. When do you think we'll be leaving?" asked Robinbrook. "At sunrise tomorrow. Let's get some rest." Torrent then led them through a littered alley to a vacant lot. "I live over there." meowed Torrent.
"Looks nice..." Cougarleap said quietly. Torrent led them over. He lived in an abandoned monster. One of the windows had a hole in it, big enough for a cat to jump through. Torrent leapt inside. "Come on in." Robinbrook eyed the monster for a moment, then hesitantly jumped inside. It couldn't hurt giving the den a try, right? Cricketpaw followed her in, but Cougarleap remained outside. "I'll be fine out here."
Robinbrook settled down on the backseat and Cricketpaw curled up next to her. Torrent crawled into the front seat while Cougarleap patted down some dirt outside and laid down. The moon blazed in the night sky as it started sinking towards the horizon. Torrent was quickly asleep, and Cricketpaw fell asleep soon after. Robinbrook turned for a little before sleep took her. Cougarleap curled as tight as he could and waited for sleep to come, which finally did after several long moments.
When they woke, the sun was rising. Its light melted into the dawn sky and shone down on them. Torrent opened his eyes and stretched. Robinbrook sat up and Cricketpaw stirred soon after. The three crawled outside to where Cougarleap was, up and pacing the lot. "Come on, I know a park nearby where there's prey." meowed Torrent, heading towards the fence that surrounded the clearing.
The four climbed over the fence and headed towards a thunderpath. There were already monsters up and running up and down it. Torrent turned and they headed down the sidewalk, the other three following. Their reflections flashed in store windows as they passed. The few Twolegs out paid little attention as the cats brushed passed their legs. Trees came into view, and the group picked up pace. They crossed a quiet thunderpath that stung their pads and found themselves standing on cool grass.
Robinbrook sighed with relief to feel grass under her paws again. "Quiet." whispered Cougarleap. A bird was pecking at the ground in front of them. Cougarleap dropped into a crouch and stalked forward. The bird paid no attention to him and continued pecking around. In a flash, he leaped and landed on the bird. A killing bite was given.
Cougarleap lifted his head, the bird clutched in his jaws. Robinbrook was stalking a squirrel. With a pounce and a blow of her paw, the squirrel was gone. Torrent trotted over with a mouse. The four sat to eat. Cricketpaw shared Robinbrook's squirrel. Later, everyone sat back, the prey gone. "Shall we go?" said Torrent, getting to his paws.
"Yeah." meowed Cougarleap. "Let's go then." Torrent headed for the sidewalk. The others followed. Torrent led them down the sidewalk until Twoleg nests came into view. Torrent veered towards them and they headed straight towards the nests. They crossed a thunderpath and found themselves standing in front of a fence. Torrent leaped over it. Cougarleap jumped over, and Robinbrook and Cricketpaw followed.
Flowers bloomed on bushes and in flower beds around the garden. It was rather nice. Cricketpaw wandered over to some purple flowers and sniffed them. They didn't have much scent to them, but they were still pretty. She looked up to see her friends disappearing over the fence. With a tiny yelp she ran to catch up with them.
The next garden was mostly bare, with just a hose out, looking like a snake sitting in the sun. In the next a sprinkler was going. The group skirted the edge of the garden to avoid the water being shot into the air. They were passing through another when the door opened to the nest and a plump tabby padded out.
The tabby's eyes locked on them. "What are you doing in my garden?" he growled. Torrent shouldered past Cougarleap, who's fur had raised, and approached the kittypet. "I'll take care of him." he muttered. "Why, if it isn't Torrent. Didn't I teach you to stay out just the other day?" he sneered.
Torrent growled. "At least I don't have a name like Sir Fluffington." Sir Fluffington growled. "It's not my fault I was named that!" "But you could change it... And I don't rely on Twolegs." Sir Fluffington flattened his ears and hissed. "Get out!" He charged at Torrent with unexpected speed and bowled him over.
Surprised, Torrent yelped. Then he thrashed wildly to get the heavier tom off of him. Fluffington was eventually knocked off, and Torrent jumped to his paws. Then he leaped at the kittypet, but didn't succeed on knocking him over. Fluffington staggered and regained balance. "That all you got?" he sneered.
Growling, Torrent bunched his muscles and leaped on top of him. Fluffington didn't fall, but he couldn't get Torrent off either. Then he rolled over, squashing Torrent with his weight. The rogue fought free, breathless, and scrambled towards the fence. "Come on!" he called to his companions, who had had no choice but to watch the fight go down.
Not hearing paw steps behind him, Torrent turned. The others weren't following. Cougarleap had jumped on Fulffington, and now the two were locked in battle. Robinbrook was poised and ready to jump in if needed, and Cricketpaw was watching intensely. Eyes wide, Torrent ran back over.
Cougarleap raked his claws down Sir Fluffington's side. Fluffinton screeched and slashed at the warrior's flank. Cougarleap went down for a moment, but sprang back up, a nic in his ear. The kittypet was pinned by the large, strong warrior. Claws glinting, Cougarleap slashed at the soft-furred pelt. Fluffington screeched again and wiggled free. He had had enough of a fight and ran back into his nest, bawling.
A proud look on his face, Cougarleap turned back to the others. "You showed him!" Cricketpaw squealed. Robrinbrook licked a spot of blood off of his ear. Torrent was silent. He was jealous of the tom's battle skills, but wasn't about to admit it.
"Should we continue now?" said Torrent. Cougarleap nodded and stood. If he was feeling pain from the fight, he wasn't showing it. The four jumped over the fence and padded through two more gardens. At the next, a very fat and fluffy kittypet slipped out. Cougarleap faced him, claws unsheathed. "I'll take care of this one."
Before anyone could say anything, Cougarleap was on the kittypet. "Whoa!" yelped the kittypet. Torrent never even looked over. "It's alright. He's my friend." Cougarleap slid off and the kittypet got to his paws. "Gosh, cats these days." he mumbled. "Who are these guys, Torrent?" Torrent looked over. "They're Cougarleap, Robinbrook, and Cricketpaw." he meowed. "Apparently they came from the forest. The Twolegs took them. I'm helping them get back home."
The fat tabby nodded. "Well, nice meeting you." He started forward. "I'm-" Just then he tripped and fell. "Ouch." Torrent sighed. "Humphrey, you're the only cat I know that trips over his own paws." "I'm just shaken up. It's not every day you walk outside and have some stranger jump on you." Humphrey shot a glare at Cougarleap, who looked at his paws.
"Anyway, I'm Humphrey." he meowed. Robinbrook nodded and gave him a friendly look. "Hi!" squeaked Cricketpaw, prancing in a circle. "We should get going." said Torrent, looking up at the sky. "We should be able to get to the forest by nightfall." Humphrey straightened. "The forest? Can I come?" Torrent glanced at the others, then replied, "Sure."
The five started off again. They crossed through two more gardens and came to an alley. Torrent jumped down into it, and the others plopped down beside him. They headed down the alley, Torrent in the lead. After padding past garbage cans on the rocky ground of gravel, they came to the end of the alley. A deliscious smelling fragrant drifted from one of the garbage cans, and Torrent tried to resist going to it.
"Ok, now we go-" Torrent was cut off as a garbage can lid rattled and paws crunched on the gravel behind them. "What are you doing in our alley?" growled a large ginger tom. "Passing through." said Torrent. He did not feel like another fight. "Well, you're trespassing. And when you trespass here, there's always a consenquence." Torrent gritted his teeth. "We have a right to pass through. We didn't take any of your trashy food." he said, a growl rumbling in his throat.
The ginger tom's eyes narrowed. "I don't care. You're still here. Now..." He scanned the row of cats. "Come on, we can easily beat you in a fight. It's just you." meowed Torrent. The ginger tom smirked. "Oh really?" With a flick of his tail, cats appeared from behind garbage cans and from over the fences. They lined up by the tom. "Who's outnumbered now?" It had gone from one to five, to nine to five.
"Listen to me and there will be just one, simple consenquence." meowed the tom. He scanned the cats again. "You." His eyes rested on Humphrey. "Come forward." Eyes wide and fur fluffed up, Humphrey padded forward. "You will fight..." The tom looked at his cats. "Giles." A ginger and white tom padded forward. "Begin." The tom stepped back, and Giles leaped for Humphrey.
Humphrey barely dodged the nimble tom. Giles prepared to leap again. Humphrey took an unaimed leap and landed on Giles' tail. Giles tried to turn around and hissed with fury. As long as Humphrey was on his tail, he was stuck. Then Humphrey crawled onto his back. Giles was flattened under the fat, heavy tom. The ginger tom frowned down at Giles. "I thought you were better. Oh well. I'll get somebody else."
Torrent growled. "You said just one! That was just one!" The ginger tom glared at him. "Velveteen will go against your friend." A light gray-blue she-cat stepped forward. Velveteen swiftly darted forward and pulled Humphrey's front paw from underneath him. Off balance, he fell off of Giles, who got back to his paws, gasping for air. In a flash, Velveteen dashed forward and pinned Humphrey. She raked her claws down his side.
Shrieking, Humphrey shook her off and got to his paws. Before he could move, Velveteen knocked him over again. Humphrey wasn't too good of a fighter, and there was no way he could beat the skilled she-cat. As she aimed to scratch him again, Humphrey looked up at the ginger tom pleadingly. The tom glanced at him, then looked up. "That's enough. You need someone easier. How about..." A white she-cat leaned forward and said quietly to him, "Helio, I think he's had enough."
Helio sighed. "Fine. You can go, but don't come back." Torrent helped Humphrey up and licked his bleeding wounds. "Those foxhearts..." he mumbled as they padded away. "I can't beleive them!" said Robinbrook, frowning at Humphrey's wounds. "Are you sure you want to continue?" Humphrey nodded. "I'm fine." Torrent knew that he was only coming still because of his great curiousity, and the only reason he wasn't bawling like a kit was because of the other cats.
The group padded out of the alley, Torrent in the lead. There were few busy thunderpaths, and there weren't as many Twoleg nests. They were coming to the end of town. "So, what's your territory like?" asked Torrent. Maybe if he got more details he could help more. "Well, it's in a nice forest. There's a river that goes through part of the territory..." said Cougarleap.
Torrent thought. A river... He remembered a river, but the memories were foggy. He strained to remember. He had seen a river, stretching through the trees. He had been young, nearly a kit. "I think I know how to get to a river. Maybe it's the same one." he meowed after a couple moments. "Could you take us to it? Maybe that's how we get home." said Robinbrook. Torrent nodded.
Trees appeared in the distance. They were close. "Almost there." said Torrent. "Can we take a brake? I'm tired." Humphrey said. "Maybe when we get to the forest." replied Torrent. Humphrey sighed. "Alright." The trees grew closer, and soon their paws were on soft, green grass. Cougarleap, Robinbrook, and Cricketpaw seemed relieved to be back in the forest.
Torrent winded through the trees. He hoped he was going the right way. Nothing seemed familiar. It was just to the left, right? He couldn't have gotten them lost. Torrent wasn't sure where to go now, and he tried not to show it. Just when he was about to give up, Torrent heard a faint trickling noise. The river. He headed confidently towards it. Soon, the river was in sight.
The five trotted up to it. "Here we are." mumbled Torrent. "Can we stop now?" asked Humphrey. "Soon." meowed Torrent. "Maybe we should stop here. It'll be getting dark soon, and we still need to eat and find a place to sleep." said Robinbrook. Cougarleap nodded in agreement. "Alright." Torrent said.
"Let's go hunt over here, Cricketpaw." meowed Robinbrook. "Ok!" said Cricketpaw, bouncing after Robinbrook into the ferns. "How do you get food out here?" asked Humphrey. "I'll catch you something." Torrent mewed, scenting the air. "You can catch hotdogs out here?" Humphrey looked around. "What?" "Nothing."
Moments later, Torrent had an unlucky vole in his jaws. He dropped it in front of Humphrey. "Here." Humphrey eyed it. "What is it?" "A vole." answered Torrent.
"Is it like a hamburger?"
"My Twolegs gave me some once. It was really good."
Humphrey took a small bite. "Not too bad. It could use some ketchup, though. Do you think we could find any out here?" Torrent sighed. "Do you see any of... Whatever that stuff is out here?" Humphrey glanced around. "Well, no." "Then no."
Moments later, Robinbrook and Cricketpaw came back with a shrew, mouse, sparrow, and squirrel. "There's a lot of prey." meowed Robinbrook, dropping the fresh-kill. Torrent nodded and took the shrew. Cougarleap grabbed the sparrow, Robinbrook sat down with the squirrel, and Cricketpaw started on the mouse. Humphrey was done first, and the others finished soon after.
As Cougarleap pushed the remains of his meal away, he meowed, "We should probably find a place to sleep." "Yeah." agreed Torrent. "I'll see if I can find some bedding." said Robinbrook, standing. Soon they were off finding a den or collecting moss. Torrent had taken Humphrey with Robinbrook to gather soft things for bedding, and Cougarleap was looking for a den with Cricketpaw.
The sun was setting when the five crawled into an old badger den. Robinbrook, Torrent, and Humphrey had found enough moss for five nests, and had gathered feathers from their prey. Humphrey laid down and was almost immediently asleep. The others curled up and fell asleep more slowly. Soon, the den was silent except for the soft breathing of the cats, and quiet snoring from Humphrey.
Later, Humphrey opened his eyes to the sound of rustling outside. Pricking his ears, he sat up. What was that? Was someone out there? He thought he heard another cat. Maybe he should wake Torrent. But when he turned to his friend, he looked so comfortable he couldn't get himself to wake him. He guessed if he wanted to find out what that was, he would have to do it himself.
Peeking outside, Humphrey saw a figure silhouetted in the moonlight. Cougarleap. Relaxing, Humphrey padded out. "You're up late." Cougarleap spun around, an alarmed look on his face. When he saw the tabby, he let his fur lay flat. "Oh, Humphrey." "Hey." said Humphrey. "What are you doing out here?" Cougarleap sighed. "I can't sleep. I guess I just miss home."
"What's your home like?" asked Humphrey. "Well, I live in WhisperClan. It's really nice there, and it's where my friends and family are. I'm deputy. I have a mate named Panthernight, and she told me she was expecting kits before I was captured." Cougarleap said, staring ahead. "It sounds nice. No wonder you want to get back." He wasn't sure what a Clan was, but Humphrey still thought it sounded cool.
"I miss my home, too." meowed Humphrey. Cougarleap just gave a small nod of his head. Then rustling came from above, and two wide eyes looked down on them. Humphrey yelped. "What's that?" His voice quavered. Cougarleap squinted through the darkness. "It's just an owl." Humphrey looked up. "Oh. I've never seen an owl." "They're pretty cool." mewed Cougarleap. Humphrey nodded, and the two sat in the quietness of the night, listening to the chirping of the crickets until their song lulled the two to sleep.
The next morning, Torrent blinked open his silver eyes and sat up. Robinbrook stirred in the nest beside him. Padding outside, the warm sunshine welcomed him. Birds chirped in the green leaved trees. Torrent could smell them, and it was making him hungry. Soon, Robinbrook padded out. "Good morning." Torrent nodded. "Morning." The light tabby looked around. "Want to hunt?" "Sure."
The two headed through the trees, brushing past ferns. They stopped in a small clearing and scented the air. Catching the scent of raven, Robinbrook stalked off. Torrent dropped into a crouch and crept towards a vole in the other direction. Careful not to make any noise, Torrent continued forward then pounced. As he landed squarely on his prey's shoulders, a screech told him Robinbrook had gotten her prey. One bite, and the vole was dangling from his jaws.
Robinbrook trotted over to Torrent, the raven in her jaws. "Should we go back?" she asked, voice muffled by the prey. Torrent nodded and they started back to the makeshift den. On the way, a bushy tail caught Torrent's eye. He dropped into a crouch and stalked towards the squirrel. All was going well until a twig accidently snapped under his paw. The prey's head shot up, then it darted up a tree. Torrent growled in frustration and picked up his vole again. Robinbrook purred. "Nice try."
Soon they were back at the den. Cougarleap and Cricketpaw had gone out hunting, and Humphrey was still dozing. The two sat down with their prey, and soon Cougarleap and Cricketpaw came back with a shrew, mouse, and a jay. Humphrey woke to the smell of food and the five feasted. When the last remains of the fresh-kill had been pushed away, they stood and headed for the river. They lapped up some cool water and started their journey again.
Torrent took the lead as they headed down the river. "I could lead..." mumbled Cougarleap. Torrent pricked his ears. "I grew up in these parts." Cougarleap shrugged. "I just thought that I knew the territory, and I've led plenty of patrols."
"I know this area. And I led you this far."
"We didn't need you to come with us this far."
Torrent growled. "Don't argue. If you both want to lead, you can take turns or lead at the same time." Robinbrook meowed calmly. Cougarleap sighed. "Whatever." Torrent forced his fur to lay flat and padded on in the lead. Cricketpaw had a bounce to her step as she trotted along, as if she didn't have a care in the world. Humphrey watched her as he walked.
Now a little grumpy, Torrent tried to focus on the beautiful surroundings. The wind whistled through the green tree tops. A bird flew by overhead. The sun shone on Robinbrook's pelt, and Torrent realized that he thought she was rather pretty. Humphrey had fallen to the back of the group. Cricketpaw still bounced. She looked back at Humphrey, and slowed until she was by his side. The two began chatting quietly.
The group traveled until the sun was high in the sky. Finally, Humphrey asked, "Can we stop? I'm starving." "We're making good time." meowed Torrent, not slowing. "Please?" he begged. Torrent glanced back at him. "You didn't have to come, you know. You could be in your nest, eating some of that kittypet slop." Humphrey flattened his ears. "At least I don't get my food from dumpsters." "At least I find my own food, and I'm not some lazy kittypet who relies on Twolegs for food and shelter." Humphrey looked at him, hurt showing in his eyes. "A lazy kittypet who can't do anything? Torrent, is that all you ever thought of me?"
Torrent sighed and looked back. "Humphrey, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have-" "I guess I don't belong here." Humphrey darted through the ferns towards the river. Now the others were staring at Torrent. "Alright, I shouldn't have said that." "Go apologize." meowed Robinbrook. Cougarleap nodded. "And let's stop here." Suddenly, a yelp and a splash came from Humphrey's direction. "What was that?" Cricketpaw headed towards it.
The others headed towards the river. Torrent brushed past them and ran to the riverbank. "Humphrey?" The tabby was nowhere in sight. Then something caught his eye. A big lump of tabby fur, drifting down the river. Humphrey. He must've fallen in. Torrent wanted to jump in, but he couldn't get his legs to move. As much as he hated to admit it, he couldn't swim.
"Humphrey!" Cougarleap jumped in the river, Robinbrook not far behind. Torrent ran down the riverbank and watched as the two warriors pulled Humphrey towards shore. Soon, the half-drowned cat was laying on the dry riverbank. "Is he alive?" Torrent licked his friend's chest. "I'm sorry..." Robinbrook placed a paw on his soaked chest and pushed. Humphrey coughed up water and gasped for air. "Whoa, that was worse then when my Twolegs tried to give me a bath." he wheezed.
Torrent licked Humphrey's wet shoulder. "I'm sorry. I'll get you some fresh-kill." Humphrey nodded. "You relax for a while." Robinbrook told Humphrey. Torrent trotted through the ferns. "I'll go with him." Cougarleap meowed, following Torrent. "Me too." Cricketpaw padded after them. Once they were a good distance from the river, the three split up. Cricketpaw went to sniff around some brambles, and Cougarleap and Torrent scented the air around some tall green trees.
Cougarleap picked up the scent of vole, sparrow, and was that cat? "Hey, Torrent..." "Hmm?" Cougarleap couldn't see him, but Torrent was stalking something on the other side of the trees. The warrior sniffed again. Yes, cat. And fairly fresh. "Torrent." Suddenly, a shriek sounded. It was Torrent.
Eyes wide, Cougarleap headed quickly through the ferns. Another small shriek. Where was he? Cougarleap ran past some brambles and ran into a black figure. The warrior unsheathed his claws and hissed. "Cougarleap!" Oh, it was Cricketpaw. Cougarleap sheathed his claws. "Where's Torrent?" She shrugged. "What was that?" Cougarleap shook his head. "Come on!"
The two ran through the trees, following a faint scent trail. They burst into a small clearing. "Torrent?" shouted Cricketpaw. "Shush." Cougarleap was staring at something on the ground. "Look at this. There was a fight here." The dirt showed fresh marks of a tussle. "And look." There was a path of pawprints leading away, with streaks covering most of the prints. "Someone must have been dragging something."
Just then, Robinbrook ran over. "What happened?" Cougarleap shook his head. "I don't know." The tabby she-cat looked at the markings on the ground. The group was silent for a few moments. Cricketpaw was the first to break the silence. "Is he dead?" No one answered.
Everyone was silent for a moment. "Let's follow the trail." meowed Cougarleap. Robinbrook nodded. "I should probably stay with Humphrey." "Alright." While Robinbrook headed back towards the river, Cougarleap and Cricketpaw began following the trail. It was the same for a while, the sign of a cat being dragged. Then they changed. "There was a struggle here. He's not dead." Cricketpaw looked down at the markings in the dirt. "That's good."
Cougarleap nodded. "Come on." They continued following the trail. Then, they suddenly stopped. "I guess we'll have to track him now." Cougarleap scented the air and started following an invisible scent trail. It meandered through the trees for a while, then stopped. The two sniffed around for a minute. No luck. "What happened?" Cougarleap shrugged. "I don't know."
Cricketpaw started nosing around. "I don't think that's going to do any good, Cricketpaw." The apprentice ignored him. Cougarleap sighed and started observing his surroundings. "Hey, I found something!" Cricketpaw had unburied a thing of wild garlic. "They disguised their scent." Cougarleap muttered, looking them over. "Now what?"
Looking down, Cougarleap said, "I guess we just go back." Cricketpaw frowned. "We can find him!" Cougarleap sighed. "We can look a little longer." Cricketpaw started searching. A little later, she still hadn't found anything. "Cricketpaw, there's nothing. Let's go. You're not going to-" "Found something!"
Cougarleap trotted over. "What?" "Look." Cricketpaw had pushed some ferns apart to reveal a dark tunnel. "Let's go in!" "Cricketpaw, I don't know..." "Come on!" Cricketpaw pushed past Cougarleap and into the tunnel. "Wait!" Cougarleap padded in and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. Taking a pawstep forward, he tripped over a dark figure and the two tumbled down a slope. "Cricketpaw!" growled Cougarleap.
"Sorry." meowed Cricketpaw. She turned around and stared into the darkness. "I'm not sure we should continue." said Cougarleap. "Please?" Cricketpaw headed down the tunnel. "Cricketpaw!" Cougarleap followed her through the dark, winding tunnel. "Let's get back outside." Cougarleap said, but Cricketpaw wasn't listening. She was focusing on something up ahead. Light.
Their pace quickening, they headed towards the light. Turning a corner, the two found themselves looking in a large underground room. There were a few holes in the roof, about the size of a paw, that let light stream in. In the middle of the room was a dip in the ground, surrounded by rocks. Maybe a fireplace. "Get back." Cougarleap whispered to Cricketpaw. They backed around the corner. Cats filled the room, looking like a sea of different pelts. Some were black, some white. Others were brown, gray, and tortoiseshell. A blue tom sat at the edge of the group, and a few ginger tabbies were scattered in the crowd.
One cat was talking in the center of the group, but Cricketpaw and Cougarleap couldn't see him, nor Torrent. But Torrent had to be here. "Cricketpaw, we should go." The blue tom turned his head. His amber eyes locked on Cricketpaw and Cougarleap. "Run!" Cougarleap whispered, and they started running back through the tunnel. The voices died away behind them, but they felt sure someone was hard on their paws. Trying hard not to run into the wall, they ran theough the dark. Finally, light shone ahead and the two burst ourside. They didn't stop running, back to the river, and they didn't look behind them.
Torrent scented the air for prey. Vole. The tom dropped into a crouch and began stalking forward. His prey's tail could be seen through the ferns. "Hey, Torrent." He heard Cougarleap. "Hmm?" He was too busy focusing on his prey to listen. Just then, something leaped on him and raked their claws down his spine. Shrieking, Torrent jumped away and slid under a bush.
A figure approached Torrent. Torrent swiped at it, but it jumped away. Then the figure clawed Torrent again and bit down on his neck. Torrent shrieked again and try to struggle free. Claws dug into his pelt again. This cat could fight. Then Torrent found himself being dragged away. He struggled to free himself, then a blow to his head made everything go dark.
When Torrent gained consciousness, he sensed many other cats around him. "He's awake." someone said. The rogue's silver eyes opened to see cats gathered all around him. High above him was the roof to the cave. Some sunlight streamed in through a couple tiny holes. Other than that, it was dark. Wait, how'd he get in a cave?
A large back and white tom pushed through the crowd and eyed Torrent. "What's your name?" Torrent glared up at him. "Wouldn't you like to know?" The tom growled and dug his claws into Torrent's chest. "I said what's your name?" Torrent winced. "Torrent." The tom smiled. "It looks like we have a new slave. Crumble, you need a slave, and you got this one. He's yours." The brown tabby who had attacked Torrent padded over to torrent with a smug look. "Wait, what?"
"You heard me. You're his slave." The tom turned away from Torrent. Crumble shoved Torrent. "Come on. It's getting late. Work starts first thing tomorrow morning." Torrent was escorted to a small hall, and into a tiny cave. "This is where you'll be staying. Rest up." Then Torrent was alone. Not knowing what else to do, he curled up in his scratchy nest and waited for sleep to come.
Torrent was woken the next morning by a strong paw shaking him. "Get up!" Torrent opened his eyes to see Crumble towering over him. "I said up!" Crumble shoved him out of his nest and onto the cold floor. Torrent groaned and rose to his paws. Before he new it, he was being nosed out of his den and into a dark tunnel. "Where are we going?" "Out of camp."
The tunnel seemed to stretch on forever, but then a faint light shone and Torrent stepped out onto green grass. Torrent looked up and saw that the sun was still rising, and he felt even more tired. "Come on. You're going to collect twigs and branches for the fire. I'll be hunting nearby." Torrent sighed and padded a few paw steps through the trees. He gathered all the twigs in the area, then looked around for more.
By the time the sun had completely risen, Torrent had a good sized pile. As he picked up another twig, Crumble approached. "Come on. We're going back." Crumble turned and started back. Torrent looked at his large pile. "Wait, aren't you going to help me?" "That's your job. You can do it in a couple trips if you want, but remember that if you're job isn't done by sunset, and you still have to clean all the dens, there'll be consequences."
Torrent sighed and picked up as many twigs as he could carry, and pushed the rest towards the camp entrance. Once he got in the tunnel, he nosed the twigs and they rolled down. He trotted after them with Crumble right behind him, unimpressed. The twigs rolled into camp. Torrent pushed all the twigs into a pile next to the fire pit. "Alright, now you need to change the bedding for every den.
Tired, Torrent took his time padding through the tunnel. "Hurry up." growled Tumble. "You don't want punished, do you?" Torrent quickened his pace and trotted out into the forest. Then he scanned the trees, looking for moss. Crumble followed Torrent throughout the forest as he gathered moss. Eventually, he had a large wad of it and started back.
The trip down was exhausting, and replacing all the bedding was worse. Torrent barely had enough moss. Just when he thought his work was done, Crumble trotted over. "We're a little low on prey, and the kits need something to play with. Go catch a bird." Torrent was soon out in the forest, hunting down a bird. The sun would be setting soon.
After sniffing around a while, Torrent finally found a raven perched on a low tree branch. Bunching up his muscles, Torrent leaped and knocked the bird down, then gave a quick killing bite. The sun was setting as he trotted to the camp entrance. Tumble was waiting for him there. "About time. You've gone overtime, so I guess you'll have to face the consequences." Torrent sighed and padded down to camp. He deposited the raven in the fresh-kill pile, then brought a feather to the kits.
Tumble took Torrent to his den. Torrent sunk into his nest. It felt wonderful. That was, until Tumble scratched his pelt and face. Torrent let out a small shriek. "Maybe next time you won't take so long." mewed Tumble, leaving the injured cat alone for the night.
The next morning, Tumble shook Torrent awake. "Come on. You need to gather firewood." Torrent padded out of camp and did the same cycle as yesterday, gathering a large pile and pushing them down to camp. Once they were stacked by the fire pit, Tumble gave him his next order.
"I'm going hunting, so you're going to care for our leader for the rest of the day." He flicked his tail towards one of the caves that branched off of the main one. "Do whatever he says, and be polite." Torrent climbed a small slope into the leader's den. "Good afternoon."
The leader, the black and white tom, was sitting in his nest. "I'm tired, but this bedding is old. Fetch me some new bedding, and do it fast." "Hello to you too." Torrent mumbled to himself, trotting out of the den and through the tunnel. He quickly located some moss and gathered it, then carried it back in his jaws.
Soon the dirty bedding was replaced. "It could've been a little faster. Whatever. Just let me sleep now." Torrent took a seat by the leaders' large nest, which laid on a platform of stone. Soon, he was asleep. Torrent yawned. Maybe while the leader was napping, he could rest for a while too. He curled up and closed his eyes, sleep soon overtaking him.
"Get up!" Torrent opened his eyes and sat up. "Sleeping on the job, eh? You'll be punished for that." Torrent saw the leader sitting up in his nest. Whoops, Torrent hadn't meant to sleep for too long. "I'm hungry. Get me a fish." ordered the leader. Torrent headed to the fresh-kill pile and looked over it. Great. No fish.
Torrent padded back to the leader's den. "Sorry, no fish." The leader didn't look up. "Go catch one, then." "Alright." Torrent tried to hide the exasperation from his tone as he started back out. Once outside, he trotted towards the river. The sun blazed hot and bright and sitting by the river was quite uncomfortable.
Fish swarmed throughout the river, but Torrent missed every one he tried for. He had never fished before. Every time his paw shot out, the fish would dart away or easily escape his grasp. Frustrated, Torrent growled. Why was he doing this anyway? He should just run. But he could sense the other rogues. They were everywhere, and he had a feeling that if he ran he would soon be caught. And if he ran back to the others, the rogues could follow him to them and they could all end up prisoners.
Missing another fish, Torrent hissed and turned around to see a cat just a few tail-lengths behind him. They didn't have the same scent as the rogues, and he was surprised, so he quickly leaped at the cat and pinned them easily. Then a familiar scent flooded over him, making him slide off quickly. "Robinbrook! Sorry." Robinbrook got back up to her paws. "Torrent! You're ok. What happened?"
Torrent sighed. "Some rogues captured me and now I'm a slave." Robinbrook's blue eyes widened. "That's not good. You have to escape." Torrent nodded. "I would run now, but they're everywhere. It's a large group." "We'll get you out somehow, and we won't leave without you." Robinbrook meowed. "Now, it looked like you were trying to get a fish." The brown tabby sat next to the river and watched the water, as still as a rock. Then her paw shot out and with a carefully aimed swipe she scooped out a silver body. "Here."
"Thanks." Torrent meowed, feeling his fur grow hot. She made it look so easy. Robinbrook laughed a little. "No problem. I'm sure you'll be out of here soon. We'll be nearby." Torrent nodded. "You should go, and be careful. Make sure you guys stay away from the rogues, and be catious." Robinbrook purred. "We will. You be careful too." Then she trotted away. Torrent wanted to run after her so badly, but he still did feel a little happier. Picking up the fish, he headed back to camp.
When he got back, there were more cats in the camp. They had finished their jobs amd were done for the day. Torrent longed to be able to stop and rest for a while like them. He padded into the leader's den and dropped it at the black and white tom's paws, who eyed it carefully, as if he thought Torrent poisened it. "A kit could've got this, but it'll do." Torrent barely bit back a growl. "You can go to your nest now. Rest up, you know work starts early." Torrent nodded and was relieved to finally settle into his nest.
He hoped that Robinbrook was right, that he'd be out of there soon. Torrent missed the she-cat already. Sighing, he rested his chin on his paws and stared ahead. He noticed that there was a she-cat in the room across from him. She had a golden pelt and green eyes. She looked just a few moons older than Cricketpaw. Noticing Torrent, she looked up. "Hi."
"Hi." Torrent replied. "I'm Blaze." meowed the she-cat. "Who are you?" At least there was one friendly cat in this place. "Torrent." he meowed. "Not too fun being a slave, is it? I wandered a little from my family and suddenly, I was a slave." Torrent nodded. "A simple hunt turned me into a slave." Blaze yawned. "Hopefully we can get oit of here. We should get some rest." Torrent mumbled agreement and the two settled down for the night.
Five sunrises later, they were good friends. Blaze gave Torrent a paw gathering firewood whenever she could, and they comforted each other. But Blaze still didn't know that Torrent saw Robinbrook every day. She offered more comfort and encouragement, and Torrent felt sure he would be out in no time. But he was wrong, and he also didn't know that these meetings, along with his talks with Blaze, would lead to all of his friends slaves.
"I'm sure it will be just a couple more days until you're free." meowed Robinbrook. Torrent smiled. "I hope so. I've been looking for ways." Robinbrook licked his cheek. "And when you get out, I bet we'll find our home." Torrent purred. He couldn't remember the last time he purred. It might have been all the way back when he was just a kit. Now he had to admit he was falling for her.
Robinbrook looked at the sky. "You should be going. The sun will be setting soon, and you don't need any new injuries." She was right. He had already been late a couple times, and his pelt was becoming covered in scratches. "See you tomorrow." Torrent meowed. Robinbrook nodded and licked his ear. "Bye." Torrent watched her pad off for a few moments before picking up his squirrel and trotting back to the camp entrance.
Crumble was waiting for him there. "About time. You were almost late." The brown tabby looked at the squirrel. "That's it?" Torrent shrugged. "Sorry, I missed a vole." "Let's just get into camp." Crumble led the way down into camp, where Torrent dropped his squirrel in the fresh-kill pile. "Get into your den." Torrent padded past the blazing fire pit and through the hall which all the slave dens were connected. "Hi, Torrent." Blaze meowed as he settled into his nest. "Hey, Blaze."
"You seem happier." Blaze mewed. "I hope to be out of here soon. Then I can be with my friends again."
"You have friends out here?"
"Yeah, just outside of the territory. There's four of them."
A black tom who was padding down the hall paused and pricked his ears.
"I meet one of them every day by the river just before returning to camp for the night."
"It's nice you get to see them."
The black tom grinned evilly and started towards the leader's den.
A blue tom with amber eyes looked up from his nest, which was in the small cave beside Blaze's. "These cats were m family, until they made me a slave." Torrent looked over. "Why'd they make you a slave?" asked Blaze.