The first book in the
Rising Darkness Series
Dark shapes moved silently through the underground.Suddenly one collapsed to the ground,moaning in agony.The queen struggled forward,fear in her eyes.
“They're coming!"somecat hissed.
The queen took a step forward and dropped to the ground.Footsteps were behind her.Then,in a brilliant flash of light,the dark shadow of the queen was illuminated.Beside her crouched three tiny shapes.
She shoved them forward as flames engulfed the trees and bracken.
Fire circled her.
Then she was gone.
Those kits did not live,except for one.
Except for Me.
My paws barely hit the ground as I dove through the forest.My heart was pounding so hard I was sure it would explode.They were right behind Me.
“Run!"I yelled,my voice hoarse.Everything was growing dark.Almost there,almost to camp.Behind me my friend Honeyglow gasped.
Panting,she shrieked “Ivystone,watch out!"
I ducked seconds before a flaming branch passed over my head.Crouching low to the ground,we ran as fast as possible.Chilly air enveloped us.
I could see the snow covered rocks ahead of us.“Seal the barrier!"I hissed.Fast as could be,Honeyglow and I turned to stand side by side.Our tails dropped to the ground,our heads high.
In unison we yelled,“Stay back!"
Snow swirled around the rocks,forward till a thick wall of ice crystals stood between us and the forest.The ice flowed back to the rocks,leaving a thin clear barrier.
Honeyglow and I turned to head to camp.It was too close.She knew just as well as I that we couldn't let this happen again.
Walking into camp,I immediately realized something was wrong.The clearing had bright green grass and bubbling Brooks.Where was the snow and ice and chilly breezes?
My head was spinning in their warm meadow.Out of the shadows stumbled Windcloud.She looked awful.
“What happened?"I groaned.The air was getting thicker by the minute.
Windcloud swayed on her paws.“They..."she stuttered.“The barrier..."
She didn't need to say more.I glanced at Honeyglow,who nodded.“We have to save the barrier."she told Windcloud.
The old she-cat was shaking now.The heat was hurting her badly.We had to do something.
I heard a choking cough from the medicine cat den,and my heart stopped.“Nightpaw!"I yowled,running over to the den.I stumbled the last couple pawsteps,the heat making Me dizzy.
I entered the den and wailed.Nightpaw was curled in a nest,barely breathing.
“Acornreed?"I called,“what's wrong with him?"
The old medicine cat came over,a grave look on his face.
“Ivystone,you know he has greencough."Acornreed didn't look me in the eye.
Fear gripped me.“Tell me he will be okay!"I yowled,“Promise me!"
“Promise me that my son will be okay!"
Acornreed sighed.“I can't promise that."
I couldn't move.I could hear Nightpaw struggling to breath.I could scent Honeyglow behind Me.But I couldn't move.I couldn't.
Honeyglow convinced me to help seal the border again,and off we were.The farther we got from camp,the more snow there was,but it was just a matter of time before they ruined us.
The border was the only line between fire and snow.We stood,tails dragging,and sealled the barrier.I gasped in horror as,instead of the crisp crackling of snow,there was as rush of water.
“The barrier,"I gasped,“It's melting."
Honeyglow and I exchanged glances.Horror follows her eyes,and I knew her face was mirroring mine.This couldn't be happening.
I said nothing as I crouched.The air hissed as frost crystallized in my fur.And,in one motion,I walked through the barrier and the frost around Me disappeared,leaving my tail feathery.
I glanced at Honeyglow.“I'm not letting my home die without a fight,"I said as I walked away from her.
The Cats of Fire and Ice are a legend told to every cat.I've had the story drilled into my mind since kithood,and now I must trust that the legend is true.
There were four sisters,Tree,Fire,Water,and Ice.The sisters brought harmony to the forest,providing warmth and comfort to the land.All the cats were happy.
But Fire became proud and greedy,and sent her flames into the forest to create fire that would consume the forest.The flames spread,but had no fuel.
Fire made a terrible choice to kill her own sister,Tree.As Tree fell,her last wish was That the forest would never die.
The flames consumed the branches,ripping trees from the ground.Cats fled from the terror,hiding from the flames.
Seeing what destruction their sister had caused,Water and Ice confronted Fire in a battle.Water used the beautiful rivers to destroy the flames,and Ice sent the snow to keep the land cool,So Fire could never again ruin the home of the cats.
Fire fled into the dark edges of the forest,the former home of Tree.She tricked her friends into coming to her aid,and she created a Flame that shall never stop burning.
Ice and Water rebuilt the woods,so that the wish of their sister would never be forgotten,and they ruled the forest together,but Ice froze over Water's rivers,and the youngest sister is sleeping,waiting for Ice to awaken her.
The friends of Ice continued to protect the forest for her.Now the Cats of Fire and Ice watch over the forest,protecting the Cats of Snow and Flame.
Now I must find The Cats of Fire and Ice,and one above the others.
I must find Ice herself.
I blinked back dizziness as I walked deeper into the hot,sticky forest.I was nearing The Cats of Flame,and they wouldn't take kindly to a Cat of Snow.I had no idea where to find The Cats of Fire and Ice,but I had to speak with them.
There is a well guarded secret in our land,and only the oldest Son of Fire and Ice may know this.
The Sons of Fire and Ice are strong,and the oldest brother becomes leader of our forest when he becomes ten moons old.The heir now is Snowyflame, and he is not yet ten moons.I know that Frozencoal will not help,so I must find the Cave of Water on my own.
I set off into deeper woods,and the farther I went the more flames there were.The temperature rose so high that I could barely see,and my head was pounding.I felt like I would be sick.
I stumbled into the undergrowth,and curled my tail around Me.I thin shell of ice encased my fur,but it wasn't thick enough.I could still feel the heat.