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Posted August 24, 2012
One moon passed. "Tonight is the Gathering," purred Amberpaw. "I hope I can go," Softpaw mewed hopefully. Squirrelflight walked over to the group of apprentices, the setting sun shining on her reddish pelt. "Snowpaw, Amberpaw, Dewpaw, Seedpaw, you may come to the Gathering," she meowed. Softpaw's tail drooped. "And you, Softpaw," she added warmly. The deputy then walked toward the thorn entrance. "You're lucky to be going again, Softpaw," Lilypaw mewed enviously. "Come on! It's time to go!" Dewpaw squeaked excitedly. Softpaw followed the sound of her friend's footsteps. They ran through the thorn tunnel and raced for the moors. "What is the lake like tonight?" Softpaw asked breathlessly. "It has small waves scudding across it from the wind, and it is inky black," Snowpaw described. Softpaw nodded. The apprentice had a long scar running across his flank. ThunderClan finally came to the tree-bridge. Ivypool helped Softpaw onto it and she felt her way across confidently. The smells of all four Clans filled her nose. She made her way through the soft pelts until she was sitting near the Great Oak. "Is that apprentice...blind?" Murmured a ShadowClan she-cat. "Pity, she'll never be a warrior now," scoffed a RiverClan elder. "Don't listen to them, Softpaw," Ivypool soothed, touching her shoulder with her tail tip. "Hi Softpaw!" Mewed an unfamiliar voice. Softpaw turned toward the she-cat. "It's me, Fluffpaw. From the last Gathering?" Fluffpaw mewed. Softpaw nodded, remembering. "So you really are blind now?" Fluffpaw asked. "Let the Gathering begin!" Yowled Bramblestar. The gathered cats quieted. "We have had good hunting, and we have two new warriors, Cherryfern and Molewhisker!" The cats chanted the new warriors names. "One of our elders, Purdy, has joined StarClan. And I have one more announcement. The fox that WindClan had chased away attacked my apprentices. Snowpaw has been scarred, and Softpaw is now blind," he announced. The cats gasped and turned to look at Softpaw and Snowpaw. Uncomfort prickled in her pelt. "Don't tell me that you inted to make Softpaw a warrior, Bramblestar," Blackstar smirked. "Yes, infact, I do. She caught a mouse on her first try hunting," Bramblestar growled. Blackstar's eyes glittered dangerously. Onestar took up Bramblestar's spot. "WindClan has had good hunting, and unfortunately, Leaftail has joined StarClan because of food poisoning," Onestar nodded toward Mistystar. "StarClan has filled the lake with fish this season. We have a new litter of three healthy kits," she announced. Blackstar straightened. "We demand that ThunderClan give us back the clearing that you took unfairly," he growled. Bramblestar curled his lip. "Never!" Blackstar snarled "Be expecting an attack soon then, Bramblestar. Come Shadowclan!" He leaped from the tree and guided his Clanmates across tree-bridge. A thick cloud suddenly covered the moon, and a strong wind whipped the cats fur. "What's happening?" Amberpaw asked, huddling against her brothers. "StarClan isn't pleased," a WindClan warrior murmured. Lightning flashed in the distance. "ThunderClan! Let's go," yowled Bramblestar over the wind. Softpaw followed her Clanmates over the tree-bridge and they raced to get home. By the time the cats returned to camp, a heavy rain had begun pelting the clearing. Softpaw ran for the apprentice den. "Blackstar was scary," Dewpaw whispered in between thunder rumbles. Softpaw didn't reply, she was already asleep.
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Posted February 23, 2012