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HIDDEN



By Mistleheart



I just simply felt bored and decided to begin the composition of a random one-shot. I truthfully don't know if I ever will complete the story - if not, I'll tell everyone what was meant to happen. And I just chose the title because it sounds cool. Not the best reason.

So.

Enjoy ~




The cliff is fractured by gaping cracks, countless abysses so deep one would plunge to his death if he were met with the misfortune of being shoved by an enemy warrior, or simply tripping into the canyon out of carelessness. If a stranger looked upon the strange place, he would think it was simply a cliff.

I, Pinepaw, having seen the terrors that had occurred at the cliff, know better.

A long moon had passed since the regretted skirmish here had extended to the bloodiest battle I have ever participated in. I still have scars inflicted that night: faded scratches, a gash on my muzzle, and a particularly nasty scar stretching from the base of my leg to my stomach.

I'm here at the site of the battle that killed dozens on both SunClan's and MoonClan's sides to pay tribute. It's an honor in SunClan.

The fight killed my mother's sister, Willowfall, who had died defending a young apprentice - Swiftpaw, a close friend of mine - the honored deputy, Pebblecloud, who went down successfully saving a patrol of warriors from a huge MoonClan group of toms, and many more cats.

Including my father.

Larkfrost was the kindest cat in SunClan and MoonClan in my eyes. He defended me when he was presented with the opportunity. When I was a kit, he frequently brought back honeycombs to lick and mice to gobble down, as he knew I love honey and the taste of a fresh-killed mouse. I still do.

The cliff I stand on is sacred. It does not belong to any of the two Clans involved with the battle on its earth, yet we are allowed to freely enter. MoonClan cats, too, occasionally visit the cliff - there is a rocky path around SunClan territory leading here Pebblestar has agreed to spare.

I sigh, my breath visible in the icy leaf-bare air. I'm already cold, because of my short, typical SunClan fur. Sometimes, I wish I were in MoonClan. Are we really so different from them?

I despise warriors fighting warriors, although it is and will always be a segment of Clan life. The battle that had occurred on these grounds had been over territory, for in greenleaf it offers lush green herbs in the smaller cracks and lurking prey, some as large as I am, and it was rather pointless. The cliff was left in peace by both warring Clans, yet I fear the momentary tranquility will not last. It never does.

My pads begin to sting from the cold, so I turn to return to the slightly warmer SunClan forest. I find myself facing an unfamiliar she-cat who must be a MoonClan cat, judging from her quite plain scent. The she-cat is small, smaller than I am myself. She seems young enough to be an apprentice near her warrior ceremony. Her gray fur bristles with hostility, and she looks confident, so I anxiously step back.

"What are you doing?" I ask nervously, my claws curling and relaxing on the chipped rock.

The she-cat twitched her tail and hissed, arching her back as if to pounce. My hackles rose as I prepared to fight her, but she growled, "What are you doing, you petty little SunClan apprentice?" She sounds scathing, as if she's a warrior.

"This place isn't your territory!" I squeak at an attempt to sound brave and strong like Larkfrost, but of course I'm unsuccessful.

"It's not yours either," the apprentice sneers, her would-be pretty muzzle twisting into an ugly leer.

I gather up my courage and look her in the eye. "I'm returning to SunClan territory," I mew clearly. "I'm not hoping to cause trouble." MoonClan foxheart, I think, but dismiss the insult.

"Fine." The MoonClan apprentice looks at me unyieldingly, her mouth curling into a peculiarly daunting grin. "Go with your pitiful throat intact, mousebrain, if you're not looking for a fight. Ah, I remember the dreadful battle here - " she sounds as if she didn't think the battle had been particularly dreadful at all. "That black tom who died at the paws of Streampelt looks quite like you."

My ears had flattened of their own accord, and I find myself snarling, teeth bared and eyes narrowed in defiance at the sh-cat before me. She knows, she must have noticed me with Larkfrost in the past, I think, my claws now gripping the rock.

I thrust my prominent muzzle into her malevolent-looking face, displaying my teeth. "It's none of your business," I hiss, my anxiety disappearing.

"I thought you would say that." She sneers again, though looking less threatening and malicious. "I lost my mother as a victim to your own kind, so you have no reason to pity only yourself. MoonClan has suffered several casualties, including that of the medicine cat, who had no apprentice. My brother will die of infection if we don't learn about medicine soon. SunClan cats are self-centered, thinking highly of themselves and other cats as inferior."

I hesitate before drawing myself backwards. I don't stop glaring at the she-cat. She is one of the cats who had helped ambush SunClan in the dead of night, driving warriors and kits alike to the cliffside in their haste to claim the cliff itself. I'm certainly not going to sympathize with her. "I don't care," I spit, but without honesty. "You killed my father."

"Your friends killed my mother!" she snarls. "And possibly my sister! You sit in your camp, life regular now that the battle has been forgotten entirely by your oblivious cats, while MoonClan still attempts to tend its wounded without a medicine cat. And now that it's leaf-bare dozens have died from lack of prey and greencough!"

"Well, no one has ever informed SunClan this," I reply, appalled at her fierce attitude. "If anyone had bothered we could have assisted you."

Her lip curls obnoxiously, and my claws twitch to slash at her face. "Don't be a mousebrain. None of your cats would have bothered to lend a single piece of the cure to greencough because of the battle that occurred here, in this very place."


To be continued

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