It was a late Newleaf day when it happened. Dusk had arrived, bringing a dark night to the hollow. Cats streamed into their dens, preparing for the night. It was a normal routine, like any other day.
"Wait. Where's Hollyspike." A young ginger Tom shoved his buddy in the shoulder, trying to get a response. He wasn't like any other apprentice. The Clan had treated him differently...he never knew why.
But he knew what was different about him: his mind. Most toms around their early ages were selfish, unknowing, young and dumb. But no, not this cat. He had a great intellect, and great passion too. His mind had the ability to care, which it did deeply for one specific cat. Hollyspike.
Ever since this Tom had been born, he had felt close to the gray she-cat. He had liked to be with her, by her side, helping her with things. And she liked it too. They got along so well, and everything fit. He just KNEW that she loved him. She was always nice to him and spoke in a soft voice. She was nice to all his other voices too!
So that was why it was a surprise that she was not there.
"I don't know, probably doing things with other people than someone as lame as you. Who cares, anyways." The ginger tom's "buddy" pushed him aside and strolled into the den, collapsing into a warm nest for the night. He wasn't exactly a good friend, as the only thing he ever cared about was himself. But the ginger Tom stayed with him, let him do, say and act however he wanted to whoever. It was better to let the stupid bully do things wrong, and then in the end get what he deserved. The ginger Tom knew that would happen.
He planned it.
He had kept everything a secret since he was young. It eventually become a normal reality to him. The tom acted normal. He truly transformed himself, having one ability to be a normal, boring apprentice. And then he had his smart and kind side, where he would plan things out day and night. He got new ideas all the time, and plotted them through. If a cat angered him, he calmed himself by thinking.
His mother had always told him he was special. He grew up to believe he was extroardinary, and had powers like no other. He thought that him being able to be different cats was a superpower. That he could be happy once, sad the next, and give himself different personalities. It came naturally to him, and he accepted it.
He gave them names. Sometimes when he was mad, "Redheart" would arise. Then he would start getting into fights and saying things he shouldn't, and later apologize to his mother by explaining to her that Redheart had gotten angry and let Skyfire step aside.
Yes, that was his name. Skyfire.
Or, at least, one of his names. He had always been confused when he became "Lilynight," and started talking gossip about the toms in the Clan, and people still called him Skyfire. Well, and stupid, weird, idiotic and mousebrained.
It was odd how no cat understood him. He thought he was normal?
But he didn't worry. Mother always said he would be okay. And if any cat annoyed him, he knew he could become Tigerscar.
No one ever wanted to meet Tigerscar.
Skyfire sighed, padding away from the den. "Hollyspike! Where are you?"
The camp was silent and gave no response. Every cat had curled up to go into bed.
Skyfire paced around camp, starting to worry."No. No. No. No. No. Hollyspike, where are you?" When he still got no response he started grinding his fangs. He plopped to the ground, whining and mumbling and scared. Things were dark, and he was scared.
"Mother! Mother I am scared!" He called up into the sky, knowing his mother would respond. Like she had said when she went to sleep and moved to Starclan, "I will always be with you."
Skyfire started hitting himself in the head with his paw. Repeatedly, repeatedly, and soon enough blood trickled down past his ear. But now, he was Pinepaw.
Skyfire gasped and leaped to his paws, turning to see Hollyspike at the entranceway. She looked horrored, but Skyfire only purred.
"Hollyspike, you worried me. I didn't know where you were. But it's okay, you're--you're back now, and we can be friends again! I was only making myself think harder...don't worry." He shook away the blood droplets and padded over to Hollyspike, rubbing the other side of his head against her shoulder. She stood rigid.
"Pinepaw was only scared. He thought you wouldn't come back, but now he knows you're okay and went off to sleep! See, it's me, Skyfire!"
Hollyspike backed up and meowed, "o-okay...hi."
Skyfire suddenly had an idea. A great idea.
He loved Hollyspike, and she loved him too! What if they could be together...forever! The Clan was never nice to Skyfire, and they were always mean. But what if Hollyspike and him lived in a new home.
But...no. The Clan was his home. He couldn't leave.
Skyfire smiled a big smile and looked into Hollyspike's eyes. He suddenly figured out...what if he could have BOTH lives!
"That's it! I can have two homes, Hollyspike. And you can be in one of them!"
Hollyspike turned to face Skyfire and stopped padding towards the den. "Wait...what? What Skyfire?"
"You worried me when you left. Oh no no no no I didn't like it. Pinepaw took over for toooo long! But now, Hollyspike, we can have our own life. Just you and me, Skyfire! Here, let's go."
Skyfire yanked on Hollyspike's paw and she yelped. "Oh no, I'm so so so so sorry, Hollyspike. I am too bad. Dumb Pinepaw...mousebrain!"
He felt his own paw connect with his head again, and started rapidly hitting.
"No, Skyfire, no!" Hollyspike grabbed his paws and looked at him. She had a look at worry in her eyes, Skyfire did not know why.
"Look, why don't we go to that place you wanted to take me... You said 'let's go?'"
Skyfire raised his head and blinked. "Yeah...yeah! Let's go now!"
Bolting off into the trees, Skyfire jumped over fallen logs and marshy ground areas, and passed some fallen leaves. Hollyspike followed closely behind, panting and looking confused.
Skyfire hurried by for a long time, letting Runningheart come in. He was always fast and determined, which was helpful!
Suddenly passing out of territory, Runningheart took a sharp left and turned into a hidden alcove. It was his secret place to go to when he got too angry. Where Tigerscar could come in.
It was hidden behind a massive rock, a big cave underneath. There was soft moss on the ground, laid out by a gleeful Lilynight when she had come to relax.
A large tree trunk, so heavy Skyfire could almost not lift it, was nearby. It was dark and getting old, but brought memories back.
Skyfire let Hollyspike follow him over top of the rock, their claws scraping down it as they leaped. Pine trees circled around their great branches hanging low. It was a very dark and unusual area, but also mysterious and riveting.
Landing on marshy ground, Skyfire meowed to Hollyspike. "Isn't it so cool! It's my other home. Our...other home."
Hollyspike stopped suddenly, halfway into the little cave. "Wait. Skyfire, you aren't making any sense. Home? Ours?! We have a Clan."
Skyfire smiled and stepped close to Hollyspike. The ground suddenly turned cold and the air frosty as well.
"Not anymore. We live here now."
With that, Skyfire bared his teeth and kicked out Hollyspike's legs. She yowled and tumbled sideways into the cave. Her pelt flung side-to-side as she rolled down into the darkness.
"I love you so much Hollyspike, I never want to leave you! I know you will like it here..."
Skyfire leaped right, and pushed a new good thought into his head.
"Yay! I'll make sure you're always warm and won't get lost if you leave! You won't!"
With newfound strength, determination and slight uneasiness in his mind, Skyfire heaved with all his might against the log.
It slid across the ground, screeching and thudding against dirt, and pushed against the big rock.
Hollyspike writhed on the mossy floor in the cave, trying to regroup herself from the shock of the attack and stand up.
"SKYFIRE! What are you doing, I can't get out! Stop, STOP! Help me, somebody!!"
Hollyspike screamed her throat raw, as Skyfire gritted his mouth in determination and continued to push. An all-time darkness cloud rolled into the cave, shadows ascending.
The log screeched once more, and moved to the left. It blotted out the last strand of light from the moon, plunging the cave into darkness.
Hollyspike continued to scream her life away inside, pounding continuously against the wood. Her claws scraped hard against the bark, and blood welled underneath. Tears stung her eyes as she cried in agony.
Skyfire only stood, a tail-length away from the giant log that covered the entrance of the cave. As he turned, leaving the cat he loved most in the prison pit of shade, he meowed one last thing.
"I'll be back soon, my Love. Do not worry, We will be together forever, and ever, and ever..."
And he left.