So many dreams were shattered in one night. This one night haunted me forever.
I could hear the screams of my Clanmates as they crumpled around me.
But worse, I stood and watched my friends fall. I had no emotions. My face was still, rigid, expressionless, in the moonlight.
Then the unfairness and sorrow overwhelmed me, and I spent days curled in a hollow outside of our territory, in a trance, and unable to move.
Why had the ground erupted and cracked like claws slashing leaves? Why had my Clanmates stumbled into these cracks, to fall and break their spines upon impact?
My future flickered, twisted, and faded. StarClan betrayed us. The trees fell like giants. The earth swallowed my Clanmates.
StarClan spoke to me. They told me they had foreseen the tragedy coming. They didn't warn us. They didn't tell us.
My Clanmates died, and I lived. Black fury erupted in me. I unsheathed my claws on the StarClan warriors who had turned traitor. They hadn't saved my family. They hadn't saved my Clan. My claws ripped through their throats. Blood sprayed my pelt.
I awakened, and watched as ThunderClan, RiverClan, and WindClan skirmished over the territory we had abandoned in death.
Such foolish creatures, fighting over this wrecked land. Spilling blood on territory where enough blood had been spilled already.
They were ignorant of the pain in my heart.
I watched as the rivers flowed bloodred with ThunderClan's greed, RiverClan's haughtiness, and WindClan's ambition.
I watched as the stars gazed upon battlefields, indifferent to the death they were refusing to end. I watched it all.
StarClan are not what I thought they were: kind, powerful, and reasonable. They are the opposite. I will have my revenge on them, I thought. But I didn't.
The StarClan warriors who told me they didn't bother to stop ShadowClan's demise. They returned to my thoughts. I remembered each of them defending themselves, but collapsing beneath my frenzied onslaught. I remember first the black she-cat, then the gray tabby tom, and finally the dark ginger tom falling to the ground, their blood pooling around them.
Each of them faded, leaving only dark blood behind.
Perhaps it should have satisfied me, but it didn't. StarClan continued shining carelessly as first WindClan, then RiverClan and ThunderClan dwindled and scattered. I don't think they cared.
I don't think I cared, either, but it still angers me. Why does StarClan allow death to happen without blinking an eye? Why didn't they stop ShadowClan from crumbling? Why did the let ThunderClan, RiverClan, and WindClan rage over a destroyed territory when there was no point?
My last night approached. I woke up in StarClan's hunting grounds. A silver tabby she-cat, accompanied by a mottled brown tom, both staring at me pleadingly.
Seasons had passed since ShadowClan fell. For a long moment I couldn't recognize these warriors.
Then I realized: Shadetail and Larchclaw stood before me.
"Mother?" My voice was rough and creaky, setting my fur on end; I hadn't spoken since ShadowClan's sudden demise. "Father?"
Then I remembered. They were among the treacherous StarClan warriors who had watched ThunderClan, RiverClan, and WindClan battle to the death.
Screaming in rage and fury and grief, I hurled myself at Larchclaw, my claws slashing. They tore through his throat and he collapsed, but not before giving me a horrified, sorrowful glance.
I stood there in terror, shaken. Larchclaw was curled on the ground, blood pooling from the vicious slash in his throat. I stared, unable to comprehend what I'd done.
Then Shadetail pounced on me, her claws pricking my sides. Pain spiraled through me, but not from her claws - from my heart.
In that moment of agony, I realized I deserved what my mother was doing to me.
Shadetail sank her teeth into my throat, fury glinting in her dark blue eyes.
"You have turned into a murderer."
The world flashed in black and white, the ground spinning beneath me. In one moment, my life flashed before my eyes.
Opening my eyes for the first time, and realizing they were blue like my mother's.
Being apprenticed to a warrior who hated me. Understanding my mentor for the first time, and why she hated me.
Catching a huge pheasant that won the approval of my mentor.
My warrior ceremony.
My vigil alone, beneath the twinkling moon and stars, where I told StarClan, Thank you.
My pride when I led my first hunting patrol.
The earthquake that had ended my life in ShadowClan.
Moons of lurking in the shadows, gazing at the stars and demanding Why? Why did you have to do this to me?
Finally, the horror and sorrow in Larchclaw's dark green eyes as my claws slashed through his throat.
You have turned into a murderer.
Shadetail's words echoed through my ears as I descended into darkness as black as a raven's wing.