Chapter One - Outcast

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It's been two moons since I was born. Tawnypelt hadn't paid much attention to me because she said I was annoying. I was still very small, despite my age, while Deathkit was almost the size of a normal apprentice. Rowansting seemed more satisfied with his progess than mine.

Tawnypelt and Rowansting praised Deathkit for almost everything and it sure wasn't fair in my eyes. I may have been small, but I could do just about everything Deathkit could!

So what if he can jump higher, hit harder and run faster... I can sneak quieter! Isn't that good, too?

But it didn't matter. Whatever I did, Deathkit did it better. Tawnypelt always noticed what he did right and what I did wrong, praising him while she scolded me. It made me feel unwanted, worthless, and weak.

I sat alone at the entrance to the nursery. The ground in the forest was mucky and gross. Today, though, it was sunny out and the mud was drying.

My paws were always muddy when I went to sleep; another thing Tawnypelt hated. Though, Scourge always said if you had dirty paws, you were working and working is living. Even when I cleaned them thoroughly, they still had a dark brown stain. It made it seem like I had brown paws. I didn't like it. I liked being white-and-grey; it made me unique.

Speaking of Scourge, I had heard from the apprentices that there was the best fight when the first BloodClan Hunger Games had happened.

Minnowpaw had tried to escape but was killed by a guard as quick as you could say Dark Forest. Vixontail and Streamclaw worked together to the end - thinking they were the last ones - and had fought to the death. Stormfur was the winner - Feathertail's brother.

Leopardstar and Tallstar somehow had more lives than a regular Clan cat, and Scourge took them away, all except one, by fighting them. Then he sent them out to the Hunger Games where - since they were the oldest - died first because of starvation.

Dawncloud had died trying to beat a monster and Ferncloud had waited for death to come to her.

That battle was always talked about. I wonder... Would I be in the BloodClan Hunger Games? Maybe I would show them who's boss and beat the others! Who's small now? Huh?

Apparently before I was born, we had lived somewhere else and I had missed out on "two great battles". Everyone in BloodClan loved gory fights. I, on the other paw, didn't like battles as much as the others did.

I guess I had missed out on a lot of details before I was born, but I didn't care. I tried not to let myself care.

I had climbed out of the warm nest, the sun climbing over the trees as if it were a happy day. I stood at the entrance to the nursery and watched Scourge, his deputy, and the guards order the warriors around harshly.

"Hurry up! We have prey to catch!" Scourge yelled. He sat on his den - a big boulder with a crack in the middle - with his claws unsheathed and teeth bared.

"Move!" Rowansting hissed. I never liked him. He ignored me and always played with Deathkit when he wasn't working. Which was close to never, so who am I to complain?

Coldkit, Haykit, and Heatherkit tumbled around with Runningbrook watching with her stomach out and her head on her paws, eyes glowing with amusement.

I stalked away from the den and into the muddy clearing. Too many fights over prey happen here and when they do, it ruins the chances of any grass growing in the clearing. It just made me even more gloomy than I already was every time I woke up.

Luckily, it was sunny so I didn't have to worry about being yelled at.

I stalked around the nursery and lay down beside it. It had brambles sticking out of the top of it so no rain or sun could hit me, plus, there were thickets behind and beside me so no one could get to me. Feeling safer, I put my chin on my paws and sighed.

I always sat there because it was quiet, shaded, and secret. I didn't like being called upon because when they did that, Deathkit would yell something out and everyone would laugh.

Quietly, I sat there watching as the cats in BloodClan got pushed and ordered around. Suddenly, a cat popped up, making me jump in fright.

I stood there, tail trembling and fur hot with embarrassment as I realized it was only Deathkit. Baring my teeth, I let out a snarl to try to intimidate him.

I growled low and clawed weakly at his nose. He barely flinched. "What was that for? Why do you always try to pick on me?" I squealed, fed up of all the picking. I shoved past him and whipped around.

He practically towered over me like the apprentices and warriors did.

"Because it's fun. You're such a kit! Grow up already, you're almost an apprentice!" Deathkit sneered.

"We still have three moons before we're named apprentices!" Narrowing my eyes, I swiped at his nose again. This time it was harder.

Bloodkit padded over and stood beside Deathkit. He was just a tall as Deathkit and just as mean, if not taller and meaner.

He snorted, "Yeah, so? By then you'll still be small, you'll still be afraid of everyone and everything, and you'll still be a puny little kit. Just grow up you loner." Bloodkit shoved me backwards. Mud smeared my legs and back, making me shiver.

I opened my mouth to speak, but Bloodkit stopped me. "Shut your trap, squeaker," He demanded, shoving his dark brown muzzle into my face, "Or I will." Bloodkit's eyes were completely serious and dark. His breath stank. I could practically see his breath billowing from his mouth.

My heart seemed to shatter from the amount of emotional pain I was faced with. I swallowed, looking to my paws.

"She's such a loner."

"Wow, what a pipsqueak!"

"Grow up, will you?"

"You sound more like a newborn kit everyday! What a squeaker!"

The memories of the day after day mockery was terrible. I wish I was never born at all. Maybe then I wouldn't make others so miserable.

I always thought Bloodkit was handsome and charming but I knew he would never think about me like that. He name-called me every moment of the day that he could. What do I say? Or do I not say anything? Maybe I should fight them?

I sniffed and looked up, but the two were already gone. Tawnypelt came out of the den and rolled her eyes at me.

"Icekit, get over it and stop moping around. They were only teasing." She glared at me. What kind of mother treats a kit like that? Or is it just tough love? Is there even love in her heart when she looks at me?

I wanted to argue that teasing hurt just as much as anything, but I chose not to. If I did I knew I would have mad consequences.

"Alright," I whispered, curling up in my safe-spot again. I rested my chin on my paws and watched the day go by.

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