Brackenheart had become deputy only a few days ago and he was still nervous. Why did Oatstar even pick me? I haven't done anything that amazing to really deserve it, he wondered, anxiously as he sat underneath the shade of a fern. But then again, all his Clanmates did say Oatstar was as mad as a fox. The last few moons she seemed to be losing her wits. Probably just getting old, Brackenheart assumed. But then there was talk Oh, Brackenheart's gonna be the next leader, and it should be soon! Oatstar doesn't have that long left!
What if he didn't want to be leader? Being a leader just sounds... tiring. And I have a horrible memory. Being a leader involves having a good memory. They've got a lot of tasks. And it seemed kind of shocking that his Clanmates seemed so eager for Oatstar to die. Sure, she wasn't that awesome to be around, but that was still their leader. She had lead them through some tough times for many moons. Just shut up and stop whining. So many cats here would be honored to be deputy. You need to be proud and happy about this. But the more he tried, the more anxious he felt he'd end up failing.
"Brackenheart!" Came the sound of Oatstar's voice. He let out a soft sigh and got to his paws, feeling like his heart would burst out of his chest. Oatstar liked to scream orders at the Clan. And she really hated it when you misunderstood what she said, or failed. If you thought she screamed before, think again. "Yes, Oatstar?" asked Brackenheart in a tired voice as he poked his head into the leaders den. Oatstar was pacing back and forth around her den, as usual, muttering something about 'no good scum.' She froze when she saw him and faced him with a hard expression. "Have you sent out the patrols yet?" she demanded. "Well, yes."
"What about that fox den? Remember, the one that's by the creek? Did you send one there to snuff it out?" Brackenheart lowered his gaze. He had completely forgot about the fox den. They had found traces of a fox on their territory recently and a possible site its den may be located on. "Um, no, but-" Oatstar cut him of. "No?" Brackenheart quickly meowed. "Don't worry, I'll lead the patrol myself, right now actually!"
Oatstar glared at him, and it seemed she was having trouble trying to control her breathing, as if she may spit flames out of her mouth at any moment. "Very well," she said, grudgingly. "But if you mess up one more thing, I swear Brackenheart! And go hunting once you've finished with the fox." Brackenheart felt like he might pass out at the thought of hunting and patrolling. It seemed like Oatstar was trying to do everything in her power to keep Brackenheart on his toes, and every moment he sat down, she'd call him up. But he felt too drained to argue and instead slipped out of the den, murmuring. "Right, Oatstar." Dear StarClan. She seems worse since I became deputy. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 01:13, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower strode into camp, Smudgepaw on her heels. Her son was energetic by StarClan. Smudgepaw headed off to grab some prey before he crashed. Nightflower perked her ears at Oatstar's sharp tone. Her mind wandering at the thought of her son, Oatkit. Surely, he was an apprentice now. The bicolored she-cat gave a heavy sigh before she headed to the fresh-kill pile. My name is Lord Voldemort 01:32, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Brackenheart trudged out of Oatstar's den. Her pricked his ears. Based on all the shuffling and hissing, Oatstar had started pacing again. I wonder what's troubling her so much. Again, he wondered why she picked him as deputy. I haven't even been in the Clan for that long... it's only been a few moons. My Clanmates still give me untrustworthy looks, as if I'm going to stab them in the back when they turn away. Whatever. He had to get a patrol together fast. Oatstar would poke her head out of the den to make sure he was doing his jobs. One time, he thought On, dear StarClan. Just a little break, before he went on a patrol, and instantly Oatstar screeched his name, which scared the life out of him. He didn't want to experience that again. He spotted Nightflower and padded over. "Hey, Nightflower, are you busy? Do you mind coming on patrol with me to check out a possible fox den?" Wait, was a deputy supposed to ask or just say 'we're going on a patrol', no questions asked? The thought made his head hurt. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 01:44, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower nodded and turned to head towards the exit, her tail swishing in a relaxed manner. She ahd gotten quite some heat for the fact that the father of Smudgepaw wasn't known to be a BeeClan tom. She was quite sure Oatstar would hold that against her until the day she died. My name is Lord Voldemort 01:51, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Before they left, Brackenheart gathered Cedarshine as well. If there was a fox living in that hole, they'd need a few cats to help fight it off. Brackenheart remained silent as he led them toward the creek. His thoughts were clouded with memories of his family when Cedarshine's voice knocked him out of his thoughts. "Erm, streams that way, Brackenheart," she murmured, struggling to hide a giggle, as she pointed left with her tail. Annoyance prickled Brackenheart's pelt and he switched his path to the correct one. Stupid Cedarshine... making him look like a fool. He felt guilty pretty quick though for thinking that. Cedarshine didn't do anything. I'm the one who was going the wrong why. I'm the one who made myself a fool. He flicked his ears, trying to erase the thoughts. Who cares! He doubted the other two warriors would care if he were an idiot. He stopped walking once they were in the area of the creek. He could smell the faint scent of fox. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 02:07, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower didn't speak, she followed the deputy silently. The black-and-white molly scented the air. The fox scent was faint and barely there. Was Oatstar becoming senile? The she-cat shook her head. She'd have to announce her return the nursery soon if this continued. My name is Lord Voldemort 02:41, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Doubt hovered in Brackenheart's head like a dark cloud. Cedarshine sniffed the air, looking confused. "Uh, I smell fox, but this isn't like a fox nest scent. This is more like a 'Sup, just walking though, don't mind me' kind of scent."
Brackenheart closed his eyes and gave his head a tiny shake, holding back a sigh. "Well, let's give it a look." He flicked his tail, pointing which way they should go. "I'll check inside the den, Cedarshine, you check down the creek some, and Nightflower, check around outside of the den." Even though he knew there probably was no fox, he had still told Oatstar he would do it. He didn't like giving empty promises. Cedarshine nodded and skipped off, humming. Brackenheart advanced on the hole. He gave the entrance a sniff. Stale fox and earth. He crawled inside and found nothing except some old rabbit bones. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 02:51, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower gave a gentle nod before she proceeded to check around the den before stating it was empty before she sat down, waiting for the deputy to finish up in the den. My name is Lord Voldemort 02:56, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Brackenheart backed out of the den, rolling his eyes. "Nothing." Great. So we just wasted our time. At least when we get back I can rest... Oh wait! No, I can't! He felt a sudden wave of anger toward Oatstar. Was this some sort of sick and twisted test? Was she trying to exhaust him and see how long it took until he broke?
Meanwhile, Cedarshine checked around the creek. She didn't find any fox scent. Like, nothing at all. Hmm, she thought, as she trudged back to the abandoned den. On her way, she tripped into a nasty mud puddle, but she didn't mind it, instead, she continued to walk thoughtfully until she reached Nightflower and Brackenheart. She didn't hesitate when she asked the question, "Is it just me, or is Oatstar like, really nuts?" It was kind of blunt, and if one of them told Oatstar about that comment, she would get a good scratch, but she didn't care. She was actually starting to feel concerned. Brackenheart looked very obviously tired, and Oatstar paced around in her den all day, and when she wasn't in her den, she'd pace around camp yowling at everyone else. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 03:12, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower shrugged. "If she wasn't sane enough to be leader, don't you think StarClan would have sent a sign?" She replied. The black-and-white warrior glanced at Cedarshine. My name is Lord Voldemort 03:20, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Cedarshine and Brackenheart exchanged a doubtful look. Oatstar didn't seem very sane. Brackenheart had never believed in StarClan anyway. He kept that a secret from his Clanmates, but he highly doubted spirit cats existed. And it didn't sound... right to him. Ghost cats choosing their destinies for them. "I'm not sure," Brackenheart said carefully. "Perhaps there's a reason they haven't sent a sign. But I admit she has become more... agitated since I became deputy, at the very least." —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 03:24, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
"That's true," Cedarshine said. "He was her son as well, and her last surviving kit. Probably wasn't very healthy." Brackenheart felt a spark of surprise. "Wait, that was her son? I didn't even know Oatstar had kits." Huh, deputy of a Clan and didn't even know who was related to who. That was cool. Cedarshine shrugged. "You are still a little new to the Clan, after all." She flicked her white tipped tail. "Well, whatever. I know she's going through some emotional stuff right now, but if she can't handle being leader, then she shouldn't be leader." She flicked her tail once again and turned away. "Whatever," she repeated and began to make her way back along the path they'd come. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 03:39, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
"Well she still has Stormclaw's daughter." The bicolored warrior murmured, standing up to head back to camp. She'd move into the nursery tonight. Some rest would do her some good. My name is Lord Voldemort 03:41, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
Cedarshine made no more comments. The three cats returned to camp. Speaking of Honeypaw... they should go training soon. I wonder if she can smack some sense into Oatstar. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 04:29, June 25, 2018 (UTC)
The patrol returned the camp, and Brackenheart heaved a breath as he padded over to Oatstar's den. Time to report. "Oatstar?" he mewed, expectantly. "Come in," answered a sour voice. He slipped inside and found Oatstar had at least stopped pacing, and was now in her nest. "Did you find the fox?" she asked, her eyes intent. "There was no fox, Oatstar," Brackenheart reported. "We found stale traces of a fox, but nothing else. It hasn't been here for a long time."
Oatstar expression was hard to read. Was she angry? Upset? or just thoughtful? Her eyes appeared to be fixed on something far away. "Leave now," her voice growled after a moment. Brackenheart nodded. "Very well, Oatstar." He slipped out of the den, letting out a relieved sigh. That had gone better than expected!
Cedarshine spotted her apprentice, Honeypaw, sitting near the side of camp, and she approached, her plumy tail waving like a feather in a breeze. "Hey, Honeypaw," she greeted her. "What's up?" She could still hardly believe she had her own apprentice, let alone, Stormclaw's daughter. It seemed odd, since everyone told Cedarshine she never took anything seriously, how they thought she was serious enough to mentor an apprentice, she had no clue. But she did her very best with Honeypaw and tried to be an awesome mentor. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 02:52, June 26, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower watched as Brackenheart came from Oatstar's den. She figured now was as good as any time to let Oatstar know she planned on returning to the nursery. Nightflower moved swiftly to the leader's den before she spoke. "Oatstar, I believe its time I return to the nursery."
Honeypaw wasn't much of a talker, like her father, she seemed to have the same hard gaze as her grandmother. "Cedarshine," the pale tabby-and-white apprentice spoke in a clipped tone as she greeted her mentor. My name is Lord Voldemort 05:00, June 26, 2018 (UTC)
Oatstar didn't react instantly to Nightflower's news. She just stared distantly at the she-cat for a moment, before murmuring, "...what?" Then her ears flattened and her eyes turned sharp and focused. "Who is the father?" she demanded.
"I hardly think I need to tell you who the father is." The queen said, her ears flattening. "I'm just here to tell you of the news." The bicolored warrior said, almost sharply to her leader.
"Disgusting half-Clan kits, I suppose," Oatstar hissed. "Very well. Go to the nursery, but don't expect anyone to catch prey for you while you're in there."
Cedarshine nodded. "Come along, then." She felt sorry for Honeypaw, after losing her father, and now her grandmother was acting crazier than she ever was. She wondered how Honeypaw felt about all of it. I wonder if Oatstar would snap at her, or if Honeypaw would be the only one she'll listen to. As she led the way out of camp, she couldn't help but prick her ears up when she heard Oatstar hissing at Nightflower from her den. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 21:16, June 27, 2018 (UTC)
Oatstar flashed Nightflower a sharp look, before turning away and quietly muttering angrily to herself. She turned back to the queen, fire in her amber eyes. "You're disloyal, whose to say they won't learn from you? I don't care what you have to say! Now get out of my sight before I change my mind about letting you off your warrior duties."
Brackenheart was sitting outside the warriors den - finally. A chance to relax. He'd go hunting later; right now, the important thing was having some rest. He didn't care what Oatstar had to say about that. Speaking of Oatstar, he could hear her now, yowling at Nightflower. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 02:40, June 29, 2018 (UTC)
Nightflower bit her tongue, however, there would come a day that Oatstar would see the queen's loyalty. She'd given everything up for hee Clan. A mate, one of her sons. She hadn't known she was expecting when she'd broken it off and Oatstar would act as though the bicolored warrior wouldn't give her life for her Clan. The queen lashed her tail and moved towards the nursery, her steps were hesitant at first. My name is Lord Voldemort 15:05, July 16, 2018 (UTC)
"Hey, what happened in there?" Brackenheart asked, padding over to Nightflower. He paused when he realized she was heading toward the nursery. "You're expecting kits?"
Meanwhile, Oatstar watched Nightflower leave with baleful eyes. She curled up in a ball with her tail over her nose, suddenly very tired. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 15:38, July 16, 2018 (UTC)
"I am, my loyalty isn't told by who the father is." The queen snapped, lasghing her tail once more before she left Brackenheart standing there without a word. Sure, Nightflower would have liked to have had a mate from her own Clan but StarClan had paved a destiny for her and if this was it. She'd bare these children and teach them herself. She wouldn't let anyone, especially not Oatstar put them down.
Honeypaw followed Cedarshine, her pale golden eyes glancing to Oatstar's den. She hadn't spoken to her grandmother in weeks and she wasn't even sure Oatstar realized that Honeypaw was still alive. My name is Lord Voldemort 10:35, July 18, 2018 (UTC)
Brackenheart watched Nightflower go. He heard cats mention she had a mate from another Clan. He hadn't know if those were rumors or not. I know, he thought, silently answering her parting words. He wouldn't argue with her over that. He felt that once you found love, nothing - no borders, no rules - could keep you apart.
"We can go hunting today," Cedarshine told Honeypaw as the led the way out of camp. She noticed her glance over to Oatstar's den and couldn't help asking, "Have you talked to her recently?" —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 04:50, July 20, 2018 (UTC)
"That's not sonething I want to discuss," the apprentice spoke quietly.
Cedarshine understood, but she was curious that maybe if Honeypaw did spend some time with Oatstar, she may be able to help her. "Maybe you should try? It would might be good for her to be with kin." —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 17:09, July 20, 2018 (UTC)
Honeypaw ignored her comment, her eyes ahead and nose scenting the air. Meanwhile, back in camp, Beetlestorm sat in camp grooming his pelt. His green eyes searching the camp. Not for anything in particular of course. My name is Lord Voldemort 17:30, July 20, 2018 (UTC)
Brackenheart went back to the spot he had been sitting in, lying down and curling his tail over his nose, relishing the peace. Now if Oatstar would just leave him alone for a bit, maybe he could relax. But now that he wasn't doing anything, all that came to his thoughts were his kits, who he had no clue where they were. He regretted giving them away. I should have gone with them, he thought, ruefully.
Cedarshine stopped beside a fallen tree, hopping up onto its flaking bark and gazing around the territory. She loved this spot. It reminded her of her apprenticeship. "What can you scent?" she asked Honeypaw. —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 18:03, July 20, 2018 (UTC)
"Good job," Cedarshine just now noticed the heaviness in the air and the promising scent of rain. "Let's try doing that one hunting move I showed you. I'll stalk toward it, scare it, then drive it into your claws. Once we find a mouse." —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 19:05, July 20, 2018 (UTC)
"I don't smell rabbit or hare. It works fine on mice," Cedarshine said, irritated. She hopped off of the fallen tree and began tracking a scent. As she went, her thoughts zipped to tonight's Gathering. I wonder if Oatstar will cause a scene... —PatchfeatherFrom the Pinnacle to the Pit 23:38, July 21, 2018 (UTC)
"Why use it on a mouse? The fast movements of my claws would shred it." She scented the air for mice. There was one a few feet away. She could always just stalk it like normal. My name is Lord Voldemort 09:07, July 22, 2018 (UTC)