Post by Fawntastic on Aug 26, 2017 15:17:56 GMT -5
curiosity is not a sin...
...but we should exercise caution with our curiosity
Despite feeling as wide awake as a honey-bee in newleaf, when he finally curled up next to Smokefur beneath the roots of the glowing starlit tree, sleep came surprisingly easy.
Shadowpaw's first steps into StarClan were peaceful, and at first he was confused, unable to see anything particularly out of the ordinary or reverent. The dark pelted tom found himself in a forest not unlike the kind in NightClan's territory, though the scents in the air were... difficult to place, but familiar. He walked slowly between the trees, keeping his senses primed for anyone who wished to interact with him. I'd like to meet the medicine cat before Smokefur. Or even one of the healers who first arrived in the valley. Shadowpaw, with a head full of questions and a heart full of excitement, was completely unprepared for the cat leaping out at him.
The apprentice hissed in surprise, only to let fly a shocked mew as he recognized his father, Hollowcry, looking triumphantly down at him with a coat as sleek and well-groomed as it had been in life. Shadowpaw's heart burst into a sprint, pounding at his ribcage as he rushed forward to press his muzzle into his father's familiar dark fur. "Dad!"
Hollowcry purred, the sound quiet but deep.
Shadowpaw couldn't speak. This was more than he'd ever hoped for. Grief had always been at the edges of his psyche since that terrible greencough epidemic. Always. Echobreeze smiled again, but it didn't have the same sincere glow and warmth that it used to; his mother missed him maybe even more than Darkpaw did.
He thought of his sisters, and wished more than anything that he could share this moment with them. Give them their chance to say goodbye. "We miss you. Mother misses you so much. I'm..." Shadowpaw's tail hung low, curling around his back right leg. "I'm sorry I couldn't save you."
Expecting a scolding look, as if Hollowcry shared that sentiment, Shadowpaw's ears pricked forward as he felt his father's tongue gently rasp over the fur on the top of his head. That gave him the courage to look up, golden eyes matching golden eyes, though one carried the strength of the stars behind them.
"It was my time." Said Hollowcry. Shadowpaw's throat tightened.
"What do you do in StarClan?" He couldn't resist asking. Though the gift of speaking with his father was wonderful enough, if he could have some questions answered while he was here... Then tonight would be a moment he would never, ever forget.
Hollowcry wore a cryptic smile. "Wait."
Wait? Wait for--oh. Shadowpaw's heart stopped. "M-Mother? She's not going to die soon, is she?"StarClan, no!
Hollowcry laid his tail over Shadowpaw's back. "No. When her time comes, I will be waiting for her." Something as mundane as life and death could not separate them for long.
Shadowpaw exhaled the breath he'd been holding, though it took a few heartbeats more for his fur to lie flat again. He felt the first few rays of dawn touch his coat. Hollowcry withdrew, looking to the horizon line to watch the night begin to fade.
Shadowpaw didn't know how, but he sensed it was time for the dream to end. "I'll make you proud, father." He promised. "I'll work hard to serve the Clan, and take care of everyone."
Hollowcry's final words came with a seldom-seen smile. "I already am."
Shadowpaw drifted back to consciousness. Goodbye, Dad...
He awoke in the moonlit cavern of the Moon Tree, surrounded by sleeping cats and the scent of his father's fur still wreathed through his fur. Shadowpaw sighed softly, keeping quiet beneath the tree as he tried to replay that moment over and over again.
It was that time again it seemed. Sandpaw took a deep breath to calm himself and moved forwards with the others gathered to take his place resting with them. Last time he'd been here it had been fire he'd dreamed of; well...that and his father. He still wasn't sure what it had meant but he did know StarClan was trying to show him something he was meant to, but he still just didn't understand. He settled down next to Dawnblossom and let himself drift knowing he was safe even if he didn't know what was in store for him. Fog was the first thing he noticed as his mind drifted deeper into the dreaming. Then a familiar silvery dappled frame that stood just slightly taller than him with a short, tufted tail. His father, Dappleback. A happy purr left him even though he felt sad as well.
Dappleback had come to him last time too, and again here he seemed sad not to be with Sandpaw and his mother, Silverglade, but he was also so very proud of all they had accomplished. He nuzzled Sandpaw and left with him a message for his mother, 'Tell her...it's okay to be happy, and let her know that being a Clan cat doesn't change who you are.' Sandpaw could only nod, even if he didn't understand what the message meant completely. His mother was happy with the Clan, wasn't she? Dappleback only smiled warmly and licked the top of Sandpaw's head before backing away into the fog once more.
Then came a sound that had haunted Sandpaw's dreams for weeks now. The fog became smoke and the cool comfort it brought with it turned into a blistering heat that had Sandpaw's heart racing as he fought the panic inside him. Suddenly he was back in the cave with his brothers and sisters and father. He was a small runt of a kit again and couldn't do anything to help. He was helpless, he was useless, why had he been saved? Then he was in the tall grass and back to his taller frame once more and out across the tall grass he heard his mother calling for him. Her voice was full of pain and she told him to stay away, but he knew as sure as he knew anything else, that if he didn't go she would die. What did it mean though?
The question brought the fog and the cool again, and the sudden knowledge that his mother was gone. In her place was a black hole that destroyed everything it drew into itself. A warning and a single word, 'Soon.' Sandpaw woke with a start after that, breathing ragged and heart pounding in his chest. He didn't understand! He looked around at all the others still deep in their dreams and took several deep breaths to calm himself. He'd just rest for now, and hope StarClan was done for him. Then, once he was back home, he'd talk with someone about the things StarClan kept showing him. Would Dawnblossom understand what he was seeing? Would his mother? Would anyone? He didn't know, and it bothered him.