Chapter 32

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Skypaw was surprised when she woke up on her own instead of Hazelflower's voice. She was well rested, despite the Gathering from the night before.

Both of her sisters were absent from the apprentices' den. Even stranger, when Skypaw ducked out into the clearing, it was completely silent.

Instead of the normal cat on guard, mentors calling their apprentices, and the deputy hollering orders, the camp was empty. Or so Skypaw thought.

A few moments after gazing around the ghost-town of a camp, Skypaw's eyes caught ahold of a pelt sitting on the Highrock. Much to Skypaw's surprise, the cat wasn't looking at her. Instead, its sandy colored muzzle was raised to the sky.

When Skypaw emerged from the apprentices' den fully and cautiously, the cat seemed to have caught her scent. Its head slowly slowered down to her, and Skypaw wondered how she had missed the stars in this cat's pelt when she first looked at this mysterious cat. More importantly, how she had missed the cat's identity?

"Skypaw," The familiar voice spoke out to her. This cat's green eyes were filled with warning.

"Sandstar!" Skypaw called out, more excitedly than she would like. "What happened to ThunderClan? Why are you here?"

Amusement rose in Sandstar's emerald eyes. "You're dreaming, young one." Skypaw flinched. No cat usually called her 'young one'. Was this some sort of joke? "Nothing happened to ThunderClan. This is just the setting of your dream."

"Why are you here?" Skypaw repeated her third question, taking a step closer to the cat who acted as her grandmother.

"To warn you," The warning in the former ThunderClan leader's eyes shone more brightly, giving off more of the warning affect that Skypaw had detected before.

"To warn me?" Skypaw echoed. "About?" There were no problems in ThunderClan! They had just gotten their medicine cat back!

"The spirit of the hawk has more than one intention, Skypaw. Be careful, and don't let him fail you." Sandstar spoke slowly and clearly, as if Skypaw needed to comprehend every word. However, Skypaw understood none of it.

"What does that mean?" She called out. "I know Willowleaf is back, but it's going to take forever for her to tell me what this means!"

Sandstar purred, trying to give off comfort. It did little for Skypaw's hectic thoughts. "This is not for Willowleaf to know. It involves you and only you, and this is a warning for an event only you know of."

With that, the former ThunderClan leader faded from sight. Despite Skypaw's yowls of protests, for her to come back and speak to her, eventually the whole camp faded from Skypaw's dream.

~*~

"Skypaw!" Skypaw snapped awake to the usual voice of Hazelflower. That's more like it.

Rainpaw and Shadepaw were both stirring from their sleep. Skypaw could hear the quiet murmurs of the awakening cats in camp, and Russetsky was faintly calling out patrols.

"Stormpelt, take Duskwave, Petalheart, and Rainpaw to patrol the borders," Skypaw ducked out of the nursery in time to see Stormpelt nod his head and flick his tail to gather his patrol. Skypaw's mother continued, "Bumblefoot, take Flowermoon and Blizzardfur to the WindClan border to hunt."

Bumblefoot nodded and brushed pelts with Featherfur at the fresh kill pile. They had been sharing a mouse, but Featherfur didn't hesitate to eat the rest of it herself now that she had more mouths to feed instead of just her own.

Gathering his patrol, Bumblefoot followed Stormpelt as cats headed out of camp to complete their morning tasks. Skypaw padded up to Hazelflower.

"Aren't you excited?" Hazelflower squealed.

Skypaw looked at her blankly and blinked. "Uh..yeah?"

"Only two more moons until your warrior ceremony!" Hazelflower meowed like it was obvious. It's almost like she wants to get rid of me... Skypaw thought. Or she's just being a good mentor, as always, and being happy for me. She went with option two.

"Yay!" Skypaw meowed, sincerely meaning it. When she was a warrior, she could lead her own patrols, have a unique name, find a mate and have kits, train an apprentice and maybe even be deputy. If StarClan wanted her to, she could follow the path that her mother and her foster grandmother had.

And maybe, just maybe, the prophecy that haunts her at night would finally be behind her.

Speaking of prophecy, she had to meet Hawkspirit tonight. Refusing to listen to Sandstar, she threw her 'warning' away. If she wasn't going to explain it to her, why should she listen in the first place? She had training to do, she couldn't waste time thinking about a few words that don't even matter!

Pretending she had an undisturbed sleep, she followed Hazelflower out of camp. They were going hunting, despite Russetsky telling them that the prey was plentiful and that they didn't have to. Skypaw didn't feel like battling, her limbs were being worked too hard. Besides, Featherfur had told her that they access cats on hunting for their warrior assessments, so Skypaw wanted as much practice as she could get.

Pausing her trek through the woods, she heard a bird call. Gazing up in a tree, she saw a plump blackbird. Licking her lips, she leaped on the tree as quietly as she could. Since this technique was one she had learned not too long ago, her claws still sent pieces of bark falling down the tree as she gripped the trunk. Thankfully, the blackbird didn't seem to notice.

Slowly making her way up there, she ignored the pain in her claws. Creeping onto a branch that was just below the one the blackbird was perched on, she crouched. Putting all of her strength into her hind legs, she leaped.

She felt relief when her front paws gripped the branch she was aiming for. However, the blackbird let out an alarm call. "Mousedung!" She muttered. She drew in a gasp when she looked down and realized how high she had climbed.

As the branch her front paws gripped on started to shake, Skypaw's eyes widened. Trying to find a safe way back to the base of the tree, she let out an ear splitting shriek as the branch broke, plummeting down to the forest floor.

The wind was knocked out of her as she fell through the air, watching the ground approach. Not daring to look down and bracing for the pain, one thing she didn't expect struck her.

Out of all the theories she was expecting, all of them were wrong. She managed to hear just a loud thud and the cry of Hazelflower before everything went black.

Comment and vote! I saw more fan interaction last chapter and I smiled while reading them!

Sorry, this isn't well written. It's late and I'm tired.

What will happen now?

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