SHE IS ALWAYS BETTER. Now isn't she. Anisepaw - the brilliant! Anisepaw - the strong! Anisepaw - the radiant! Anisepaw -...the beautiful. I narrow my eyes as I see Reedstar speaking quietly with Leafstripe, his deputy and mate.
Today was my warrior ceremony. Yay. But what other cats would call it was Anisepaw's warrior ceremony. That is why they are excited.
"May all HerbClan cats gather in the center of the camp for a ceremony?" Reedstar jumped onto a rock, his russet pelt flaring in the bright orange sun. It is dawn and cats hustle into the center to hear the beloved Anisepaw receive her name.
Mallowleaf and Yarrowtail, my parents, and Fallowwing and Grassnight, Anisepaw's parents are watching, their gaze fixed on Anisepaw, whose smile is wide and outstanding. Her light cream and brown pelt is slicked back and her fluffy tail waves in the air as she stares expectantly at Reedstar. I lick my own soft dark ginger pelt.
"We are gathered to name two soon to be warriors. Rowanpaw, step forward." Reedstar beckons. Whoa. And I thought Anisepaw would be first. Then I notice the look Reedstar gives her and I know he is saving the best for last. Great. I do as I am told and Reedstar touches his muzzle to my head. "Is it your wish to be a warrior of HerbClan?"
"Yes.," My voice comes out all strangled and awkward.
"I thought so. Then, with StarClan's approval, I name you Rowanleaf. May you find honor in serving your Clan."
I step back and am not met with any cheers. At first, I feel a puncture in my heart until I realize that they aren't supposed to cheer until all the apprentices are named. Oh. So only Anisepaw should get any cheers, I see.
Rowanleaf isn't a bad name.
"Anisepaw, please step forward."
She steps forward.
"Do you wish to serve as a warrior of HerbClan?"
"I do." Her voice is pitch perfect.
"Then, by the powers of StarClan, I rename you to Aniseflower. May you find joy in your name."
Oh, so he intentionally gave her a pretty name. Lovely.
"Aniseflower, Rowanleaf! Aniseflower, Rowanleaf!" The crowd cheers. Aniseflower gives me a charming smile which I guess means she's boasting. Go ahead. She gets swallowed into the crowd as they congratulate her.
"We're proud of you." I hear Mallowleaf and Yarrowtail. I nod and they lick my head before going off to find Aniseflower.
I sigh and catch Asterflight's gaze. Butterflies tumble in my stomach; I've had a crush on him since we were kits - before Aniseflower was born. He became a warrior a moon ago.
"So. How's it going, Rowanleaf?" He teases.
"Totally rad, Asterflight." We enunciate each other's suffixes.
"You've finally caught up to me!"
"I've always been caught up to you!" I nudge him. We laugh and Aniseflower comes over. "Hi guys!"
"Hey" Asterflight mews. "Want me to show you your nest?"
"Certainly!" Aniseflower beams.
They both look at me and I realize the question was intended for me too. "Sure."
We head into the Warriors' den and it doesn't take me long to identify Aniseflower and Asterflight walking side by side, fur brushing and crimson fills my eyes. And then I hear a BOOM.