Chapter Twenty-Two - The Reaping

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I sat in the crowd, trembling greatly in fear. Poison was on the Great Rock with a glare set on almost every cat. All the guards sat below Poison, their backs straight and faces emotionless. Ice was sitting beside Poison, his cold daggers scanning each and every cat.

"I, Poison, leader of BloodClan, have decided to cancel this years Hunger Games." Poison announced, standing sure and tall. I exchanged glances with Frostfur, who was on the right side of me while Deathpaw was on the other. She only shrugged. Tawnypelt and Rowansting sat straight just behind me. "Just kidding!" He yowled with such a crazy look, I was sure that looks really could kill. I could hear him purring as everything went awkwardly quiet.

Poison stopped purring and began the ceremony, which was known as The Reaping to some cats. "Ice and I have decided on the twelve lucky subjects that will be going into the Hunger Games. Please separate to different places according to the Clan you were once in."

I followed Tawnypelt and Rowansting with Deathpaw beside me. Frostfur went with the ThunderClan cats, and I longed to run beside her, even though I wished I was a WindClan cat.

"ThunderClan, you're first." Poison growled. He quickly announced three cats names, Cloudtail, Frostfur, and Sandstorm. My heart lurched as Frostfur's frail body hurried to sit beside Cloudtail. I felt bad for Cloudtail in a way. Lostface didn't even care that he was gone, but I noticed she watched him in the corner of her one good eye.

"ShadowClan, you're next." Poison announced as his eyes laid on the cats that surrounded me. I swallowed and prayed to StarClan that I wasn't going in. My heart sped up as Ashfoot and Cedarheart were called. Please not me... Please be Deathpaw... "Icepaw." Poison finished, laying his poisonous green gaze on me. I gasped and hid behind Deathpaw. I didn't move from where I was. "Get going! You're embarrassing me!" Deathpaw snarled over his shoulder, but I refused to move.

"Icepaw." Poison demanded, his voice very serious and impatient. I still didn't budge, mumbling words to StarClan that they'd take me away or that they wouldn't see me. Firestar! Bluestar! Help, please! Yellowtooth, Tallstar, Crookedstar, please save me! Don't let them take me! I begged, swallowing my wails.

But I knew as Poison flicked his tail and as Lostface and Jaggedtooth came trotting over, that StarClan didn't care.

I squealed as Lostface grabbed my scruff and dragged me to the other former ShadowClan cats. I felt hot with embarrassment as I let my fear get the best of me, everyone's eyes locked on me.

"WindClan, you're next." I sat there, beside Ashfoot, with my head down. My heart didn't go back to its normal pace until WindClan was done. Three more cats, Mudclaw, Haypaw, and Webfoot sat there. My eyes widened as Mudclaw smirked at me. He really is going to kill me!! Why me, StarClan, why?

I noticed as Haypaw came up that he was trembling just as bad as I was at the beginning of the ceremony, if not worse. He was breathing heavily with his eyes wide as if to say, What's going to happen to me?

As I looked back to the crowd another vision came to me. So many more cats were gathered, everyone was talking happily and gathered among each other. Everyone suddenly hushed and separated and I realized, as a familiar voice rung through the island, that Firestar was speaking. I looked up to see Blackfoot, Firestar, Onewhisker, and Mistyfoot.

I came to reality as Feathertail began crying out. Hawkpaw and Loudbelly were among the eleven of us now. I gulped as I caught eyes with Hawkpaw. He curled his lip at me in a snarl and I looked away in a hurry.

"Ice will grow around the territories with the Feather at it's feet. Blood will be no more, they will suffer their defeat." A soft voice murmured in my ear. I glanced over at Ashfoot, but she was silent with a hard stare at nothing in particular.

Does this mean... That I am destined to fight in the BloodClan Hunger Games? I looked to my paws and studied the ground.

Almost sure I knew what the prophecy meant, I felt confidence surge through me. With Frostfur's good luck wish, I will win this StarClan-forsaken battle with Frostfur at my side.

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