@Hydra: Seriously?! I love Apocalypse, it's amazing! You write really well.
Up In Smoke: Chapter Eleven
Sandpaw's green eyes snapped open as the first crimson rays of light splashed across the dawn sky. She sighed, feeling tired. She hadn't been able to sleep last night, and being forced to wake up at the crack of dawn every day didn't help. She woke up earlier than most of the warriors. Groggily, she swiped her tongue a few times over her fur, the small hooks catching on her tangled pelt. After her fur was finally silky soft again, she got up, stretching her legs, and stepped into camp, where Thistledusk was sitting with Brindlepad.
"You're too hard on Sandpaw," the pretty she-cat was saying. "You overwork her."
"Nonsense. I want her to be the best warrior she can be, and being a good warrior means you work hard," her mentor sniffed. "I'm not hard with her for no reason, you know."
"Getting her up at dawn every day, even when she's not on the dawn patrol? That's not helping. Do you realize how tired she is every day?!" Brindlepad mewed. "You're the reason she nearly died, Flintriver told me."
"There isn't any room for mourning! I learned that when Cinderpetal and Whitespots died!" he hissed fiercely, neck fur rising. He was much larger than the spotted tabby she-cat, and looked intimidating, towering over her. She locked eyes with him, though, and held her ground.
"She thinks you hate her," Brindlepad said calmly before turning and padding away.
Thistledusk turned, locking eyes with Sandpaw. The older tom still unnerved her, even after that conversation. "Sandpaw, eat something. We're going on dawn patrol," he commanded her. She heard Brindlepad give a gusty sigh from near her, but just dipped her head and quickly scarfed down a thrush, before following her mentor, Bouldershade and Duskfire. They stepped through the woods in silence. It began snowing lightly as the sun rose and disappeared behind gray clouds. The absence of the golden disk gave everything a dull, gloomy feel to it, and the patrol wove through the trees quietly, never speaking.
They made it to the border.
"The hunting patrol won't go out until later. Perhaps we should catch some prey for Cloverspark and the elders," Bouldershade remarked.
"Good idea," Duskfire mewed before Thistledusk could say anything. "I smell mouse over there."
"Sandpaw, go see if you can find that mouse. Be careful not to go over the SunClan border," her mentor ordered, and she dashed off through the wood in the direction of the mouse. The SunClan scent was strong, and the border was right there. Her eyes locked on a fat gray-brown mouse, nibbling on a nut freshly dug up from a hole.
Her ears flattened, and she dropped into a low hunting crouch, stepping forward stealthily. The wind was blowing the scent right to her, and she licked her chops. With a neat pounce, she leaped and landed on its back, snapping its spine and killing it. Suddenly, she realized her paw was over the border. She quickly withdrew it, but not before she noticed the black-and-white tomcat apprentice standing there, glaring at her.
"What are you doing over the border?" he hissed in a low voice.
"I didn't mean to, my paw slipped," she mewed softly, feeling quite scared, not of the apprentice, but of the patrol that was probably with him.
"I'll let you go, because it was an accident. But don't do it again." The tom turned up some mud over the place where Sandpaw had stepped.
"What's your name?" she asked, feeling braver. "If I see you at a Gathering."
"Driftpaw," he mewed. "Yours?"
"Sandpaw. Sorry, I can't stay. Bye." She turned and dashed into the bushes, heart pounding, with the mouse in her jaws. That had been a close call.
"Good job," her mentor meowed, dipping his head to her. She felt more proud of herself now; she had caught some prey and evaded a SunClan patrol. "Let's keep going."
They kept patrolling, and Sandpaw saw no sign of Driftpaw or any other SunClan cat. She had met her first cat from another Clan, though it wasn't really how she had anticipated. The rest of it went smoothly, and they returned to camp. As soon as they set paw inside camp, Rookpaw dashed up to her.
"How was patrol?" he asked excitedly.
"Come here." They retreated to a corner. "Don't tell anyone this, but I met a SunClan cat."
"Really?" he asked, eyes wide. "Were they scary? Did they try to eat you?"
"Eat me? No," she laughed. "SunClan doesn't eat you."
"That's what Maplepaw said," Rookpaw mewed, and Sandpaw felt a spark of anger, somehow.
"She's wrong. His name was Driftpaw, and he let me go for accidentally putting a paw over the border," she meowed.
"Oh," the black-and-white cat mewed, disappointed-looking. "I thought it would be more exciting than that."
"No. Maybe you'll meet him at the Gathering soon. He's black and white, with green eyes," she described. "Your age, I think."
"Oh, all right. Maybe we can be friends!" Rookpaw bounced off excitedly to talk to Troutpaw, and Sandpaw sat down with a sigh.
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Daily Song Quote: "i've done all i can think of, chased down all my demons" -pink