"BloodClan! Assemble before the high and mighty Scourge!" Came the familiar cry of Bone, Scourge's second-in-command. Scourge climbed up the Carrionpile and watched as his hardy, bone-thin followers poured from all around where he stood.
"I have a... Proposition for you, my mangy rouge followers." At this, many cats lashed their tails, this is as close as a comment got for them, "As you may know we have had an abundant kitting this year. I hope that you mothers, are, proud of your offspring. Listen well! Those of you mothers that claim to be faithful, here's a test of loalty. All kits under the age of," he looked at Bone, "seven moons must be exterminated or abandoned, it is your choice. Any mother still found with her kits must pay the price." He turned to get down and remembered one more thing, "Any kits over seven moons must be given to Ice, my new, offical kit-trainer." At this, Scourge lept away and the crowd dispursed.
Unnoticed by anyone exept her mate, a mother to a six-moon kit snuck off towards the bushes, fearful of what could happen to her kit.
"River, I need you to do something for me, okay?" Maple looked stricken, fear written across her face.
"What is it?" River asked, aware of her mothers anxiety.
"Scourge just told us a very mean thing and I need you to play a very long game of hide and seek, okay?" Maple tried to soften her complexion, but it only made her look more worried.
"Don't mind why. Just when ever a member of BloodClan comes near, hide." Maple relaxed considerably when she saw her daughter dash behind a bush.
"What about you, mother?" River sounded confused.
"I'm the only one that you're allowed to be seen by, I don't trust your father anymore. Now see that bush? I want you to dig a hole right behind it. Make it as deep as you can. this will be where you hide, okay?"
"Got it." River dashed back behind the bush and started diging into the soft earth.
I hope no one finds out... Mabye after a couple moons Scourge will forget, who knows? Maple turned an left her daughter to her digging.
River crawled out of her den behind the bush and into the first rays of sun. She thought about expanding the den and wriggled back down into the musty hole and tore into the wall of the "cave" she lived in. Maybe if I dig another room Mother can be down here too.. River kept digging until she felt her belly rumble. She thought for a moment then kept clawing at the wall. Mother will bring me some food. Later, after she was well into her project, she heard pawsteps above her. Crawling out, she shook off her pelt and peered through the bush to see who it was. She watched as her mother padded toward the bush, then stopped suddenly and dropped the mice she was carrying. Maple spun around, her tail lashing.
"Strange," a soft, voice carried to where River was watching, "a former Mother is spotted carrying many more mice than she needs to a bush, far away from where she caught them. And it's even the same bush hiding a small rabbits den, or somthing that smells of it. Are you going to catch that too? Or are you showing me a nice place to have my breakfast?" Ice and his identical brother, Snake, stepped out of the shadows. "Shall we ask about all this suspicious behavior? It looks like you are supporting a mate, or, kit?"
"I'm n-not hidding anything Snake. I-I'm just eating more than usual." Maple backed toward the bush as the rouges advanced.
"We'll confirm that later," Ice dashed to the left and Snake charged Maple head on. Ice raked Maple's side and River bit back the urge to scream, to rush to her mothers aid. Ice swept his foreleg at Maple's and caused her to fall. Snake dashed in and clawed across her muzzle and joined his brother in circleing her. "Filthy she-cat. I knew we shouldn't trust you with abandoning your kit."
"Leave me alone! What more do you want?" Maple drew her breath in gasps. River's mind was flooded with horror as she watched the pair of gray toms dash in again and inflict more wounds to her mother. Then, seeing their job was done, the turned and fled to the trees.
"Mother! Mother, don't leave!" River dashed to her mothers side and lay down next to the blood soaked pelt.
"I'm sorry, River. I'll never see you grow into a beautiful she-cat as I'd wished. I will always be there in your heart." Maple lay her head down in the blood soaked grass.
I will always be in your heart... I will always be in your heart... The words whipped through her brain like a storm. "Mother," River heard a rustle of leaves and ran back to her spot behind the bush. Her father steped into the clearing and looked at Maple's body. He then looked around wildly and bounded away. He didn't even say goodbye! River ran. She ran until she couldn't run any more.
When she finaly stopped, she noticed that she was in unfamiliar territory. The trees here weren't stunted, but tall and looked like they touched the sky. The ground was healthy and green, and undergrowth covered the forest floor. I'm so far from home... River raised her head and scented the air. Trouble! She had no idea wether these cats were friends or foes, just that she didn't want to meet them.
"Hey! Fernwilt! Goldpaw! What do you smell?" A she-cat's voice filtered through the leaves.
"I smell... I smell... An unknow cat, not of any clans I think." This time a young tom's voice reached her ears.
"I smell a trespasser! Goldpaw go get rid of them." River heard the young cat protest but, "now Goldpaw!"
"Y-yes s-sir." River heard pawsteps coming closer. She tried to leave but fear kept her still. "Get off our territory you-- Huh?" A gold-furred cat came behind the tree and spotted her for the first time. "Your my age! What are you doing here? I'm from LightningClan, where are you from?"
"Um, I'm from BloodClan."
"Goldpaw! Is it dead yet?" the gruff toms voice came from the trees.
"Yes, sir!" The gold cat turned. "I'm going to pretend I found you in the jaws of a-- fox, okay? I'll just need to..." his voice trailed off as he nipped her scruff.
"Ow! That hurt!" River felt the blood start to well up in the wound.
"Just to make it look like you were in the jaws of a fox. Let's go!" The young tom led her out from behind the tree and over to the other cats.