Ghoststep: *feels my heart melt and relief floods over me as i lay my head on top of hers* you really are the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. you and the kits
The winners for the July Spotlight Contest are as follows: Writing goes to Mink! and Art goes to Baelfire!
The next Spotlight Contest can be found HERE!
The next Spotlight Contest can be found HERE!
Linnetcloud couldn't help but look warmly at Ghoststep. "Me too," she murmured and buried her muzzle into his fur. Her ears twitched when she heard Wheatkit wail her name from across the clearing and she let out a sigh. "I just wish it wasn't so complicated." She meowed bitterly and gave the tom's cheek a quick lick then started to make her way back towards the nursery.
"Stop stepping on my tail!" Wheatkit squealed and rolled over onto his back, wrapping his paws around his tail and holding it close to his chest. "You can't just sleep on it," he huffed and squirmed a bit, reaching out a paw to bat at Dovekit's ears.
Ghoststep: *smiles and shakes my head as i watch her go, heading back to my den as well*
Dovekit: *holds up my paws as i bat his paw away* why not? *i leap on top of him and bites his ear playfully before going limp* then i'll just sleep like this
Foxfur: now you two, stop it. Dovekit, get off of your brother
Dovekit: but he's so comfortable
Wheatkit squeaked as his sister flopped over on top of him. "Because you're too heavy!" He wriggled and squirmed out from under Dovekit and bounced to the other side of the den, only to crash into his mother's paws as she entered. He looked up and his ears drooped a little.
Linnetcloud shook her head, nudging Wheatkit up with her nose. "Alright you two," she sighed and padded over to her nest. "That's enough rough housing, I'm sure Foxfur doesn't want to hear you squabbling any more." She curled up in the nest and gave both Wheatkit and Dovekit a stern look.
Wheatkit mumbled as he padded over to Linnetcloud, dragging his paws as he went. "She started it." He wormed his way under his mother's tail and snuggled against her belly, laying down with a flop.
Dovekit: *i keep quiet as i curl up between linnetcloud's paws*
Foxfur: *i look fondly at the two kits as they get nestled down, eager for my own to finally be here*
Dovekit: *all day wheatkit and i seem to be getting on each other's nerves* stop it! *i put my paw on his face and tries pushing him away* *he found a twig and keeps trying to poke me with it* you're being annoying *i finally push him away, leaping on him and we tumble around* mom! wheatkit is-- *we both stop when we hear rowanstar raise his voice, but not at us in particular but to any cat old enough to hunt* *i spring off of wheatkit as i sneak my way over to the highrock*
Rowanstar perched on the edge of Highrock, anxiously twitching his whiskers. "All cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather here for a Clan meeting!"
Wheatkit tossed the stick from his mouth while he was sprawled out on his back. He thrust his hind legs forward as Dovekit turned, kicking her hindquarters and shoving her forward a bit. He smirked when she gave him a glare then he rolled to his paws and trotted after her, holding his tail in the air.
Linnetcloud passed the two kits, who obviously weren't trying very hard to be stealthy. She was seemingly annoyed with their "more than normal" bickering, but she let them be and left them to play whatever game they were getting into now.
Rowanstar waited for the Clan to gather, taking not of Wheatkit and Dovekit, though he kept it to himself. He waited for everyone to settle before he spoke. "Now that I feel like our newcomers are settled," he gestured to Snowball and Slate with his tail. "I think it's only best that they have a proper apprentice ceremony," he purred. "Step forward." He flicked his tail and rose to his paws, watching the two cats he had mentioned.
Slate's eyes were wide, but his paws tingled with excitement. He knew he wasn't a kit and this couldn't be a real apprentice ceremony, but everything about it made his whiskers quiver. He exchanged a glance with Snowball, who he'd been sharing the apprentices den with then padded forward to the center of the gathered cats.
Snowball: *i share a warm look with slate before calmly walking up with him, not really sure what to expect, but excited all the same*
Foxfur: *i pad out too, having ebony follow after me and trying to get chubnose to follow after me as well* you won't want to miss this, trust me
Dovekit: *we hide near the highrock, hidden by shade and the shrubbery of a bush* *i keep pushing wheatkit away, obviously still annoyed as i try to listen in on what's happening*
Ebony padded warily along side Foxfur. She stuck her nose in the air as they approached the rest of the gathered cats. "What is all this nonsense about?" She meowed with a somewhat agitated tone. "This sort of thing disrupts a cat's beauty rest." She let out an exasperated sigh. "If only I was with my humans, they know how one should be treated!" She sat next to Foxfur and glanced snobbishly up at Rowanstar, delicately placing her tail over her paws.
Rowanstar blinked as Ebony approached; he'd forgotten about the kittypet they had taken in, or more so, learned to tune out her constant complaining. "And Ebony of course," he meowed and attempted to beckon her over. "Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever be able to find your twolegs." He physically flinched when the kittypet looked up it him with huge, horrified eyes. "..But if you'd like, you're welcome to stay here and train as an apprentice--"
"Do what!?" Ebony wailed, appalled. Her mouth gaped open then she narrowed her eyes at Rowanstar. "I never asked to be here!" Her fur bristled as she rose to her paws. "You must take me back to my owners this instant!" She demanded, slapping her paw against the ground. "You must be keeping me here as a prisoner and don't think that I wont--!" her mew was cut short as Slate interrupted her.
Slate blinked warmly at the kittypet. He'd dealt with her type before, in twolegplace, but maybe ones not so spoiled as Ebony clearly was. "It won't be so bad," he meowed softly and motioned with his paw to try and coax her over. "You might like it as a warrior and if you don't," he took a step aside as she approached, making a spot between Snowball and himself. "Then I'll personally find your twolegs for you."
Ebony's pelt suddenly felt hot with embarrassment as Slate stared at her with his pale green eyes. She muttered something inaudible as she slipped in between Slate and Snowball and nervously pawed at the ground. She glanced to Slate once more as he dipped his head to Rowanstar and apologized for interrupting the ceremony.
Amusement flashed in Rowanstar's eyes as he watched the scene then continued with the ceremony. "Though you are not kits, you will still be trained as apprentices until you earn your warrior names. From this moment on, you will be known as Slatepaw, Snowpaw and Ebonypaw. Tigerstripe will continue to mentor Snowpaw and Reedtail will mentor Slatepaw." He scanned the rest of the cats; he'd already know which mentors to chose for Slate and Snowball, but he'd completely forgotten about Ebony; not that he ever thought she'd agree to warrior training. He realized they where staring at him expectantly and he hurriedly chose Ebony's mentor. "And Darkfrost will mentor Ebonypaw."
Reedtail: *i eagerly go over to slatepaw's side, tigerstripe taking snowpaw's side, but darkfrost seems surprised*
Darkfrost: *my mouth drops open and if i were eating something i would've spat it out* What!? *i then look over at her and then rowanstar and then up at the sky, my shoulders heaving* *i then pad over to her awkwardly* Oh this is going to be fun..
Foxfur: *everyone cheers for their new names, but once the cheering dies down, that's when i'm soon reminded of the strange elderly she-cat that's making some weird noise behind me* *raises my voice* now what about her *points to her with my tail* she should have a name as well. she's too um...older to be a warrior but we should name her something
Slatepaw looked excitedly at Reedtail and dipped his head respectfully to her. His ear twitched when Ebonypaw spoke up and he glanced over to the she-cat.
Ebonypaw looked at Darkfrost like he was a piece of prey that had been left in the sun for a quarter moon. "Surely a cat as stuffy as this one is can't teach me a thing," she scoffed and turned away from him with her nose in the air. "This is dreadful," she mumbled, now half wishing he was still lost in the forest instead of here with all these cats forcing her into something she didn't want. She heaved a sigh and her shoulders sagged with defeat.
Rowanstar blinked and looked over to Foxfur then his gaze landed on Chubnose, who was sprawled out on her belly with her paws stretched out in all directions. "That's right," he murmured and eyed the she-cat strangely. He thought for a moment or two then cleared his throat. "How about Chubnose." It was more of a question to the rest of the Clan than a statement, since it didn't really seem like she even knew what was going on most of the time; she probably had no opinion on what they decided to call her.
Darkfrost: *my eyes narrow on her, lowering my voice* trust me i don't like this either but we might as well get used to it *i then give her a look* besides, i'm sure you'd like to look good in front of slatepaw over there
Foxfur: *purrs as i look down at her, gently pawing at her* your name is chubnose now
Ebonypaw's eyes widened and her fur bristled with nervousness. She glanced quickly to the gray and white tom, but he didn't seem to be listening or if he was; he didn't seem to be paying them any mind. She whipped around to face Darkfrost and stood nose to nose with him, or at least the best she could as he was much bigger. "Or maybe you'd rather go out with Snowpaw!" She hissed in a quiet whisper, just loud enough for Darkfrost to hear.
Chubnose looked up at Foxfur and blinked one eye and then the other. She focused on the she-cat's paw then grabbed it between her own, staring at it quizzically before attempting to stuff it into her mouth.
Darkfrost: *my eyes grow wide as I quickly put my paw over her mouth, snowpaw and a few others curiously looking over* oh I'm just so excited to be a mentor again! Rowanstar, you truly are a kind leader *I then give ebonypaw a small, mischievous smile* I'll be sure to turn her into a warrior *start to pull ebonypaw away from there* in fact, why waste time? Let's start now
Foxfur: *I awkwardly and slowly takes my paw from her* come on, I'll help you back to your den *starts to walk her back*
"Now!?" Ebony gasped as she tried to wriggle away from Darkfrost's grasp. "You can't mean right this minute, I was still sunning myself!" She tried to dig the back of her paws into the dirt to stop herself, but the large tom continued to drag her along.
Chubnose awkwardly got to her paws and followed after Foxfur, stopping to munch on a flower that sprouted up in the clearing.
Darkfrost: too bad! now quit being such a kit! *i start scootching her out into the tunnel when reedpaw and tigerstripe and their apprentices come over to us* *smirks when i see slatepaw but then i get flustered when i lay eyes on snowpaw*
Reedpaw: *smiles* i was thinking *looks over at both toms* maybe so everyone settles in we could go in a group! you know, just for today *looks over at slatepaw, my paws prickling with excitement to train him*
Tigerstripe: *smiles as i look over at snowpaw* you mind?
Snowpaw: *shakes my head* not at all *i then give a warm smile to darkfrost* could be fun
Darkfrost: *my fur bristles but i quickly try to lay in flat* hehe well...i suppose it could be interesting especially since ebonypaw here is so *i pause, trying to find a good word to describe her* conflicted
Ebonypaw narrowed her eyes at Darkfrost, imagining her claws swiping around his ears. She parted her jaws for some sort of snarky remark, but she closed her mouth quickly when Slatepaw spoke up.
Slatepaw nodded enthusiastically. "That sounds great!" He purred as his eyes shone, looking at Reedtail. He exchanged glanced with both Snowpaw and Ebonypaw before looking back to his mentor.
Darkfrost: well you heard em *looks over at ebonypaw* now come on, get going *we all head out through the tunnel and out into the woods* well since i assume *glances over at snowpaw really trying to toughen up and not get all googly-eyed at her* snowpaw has seen the territory, reedtail, we can show the ebonypaw and slatepaw
Snowpaw: it's ok *looks over at tigerstripe* we can just hunt on the way. i've never caught a bird before and i'd like to give that a try
Tigerstripe: sure *we start walking around the border of the territory, though it's impossible to miss those scent markers* they're not too hard once you know how
Reedtail: *we reach the outter limits of the territory, tigerstripe and snowpaw a ways back, guessing they found a bird to hunt* this is as far as you can go and just make sure to stay inside it and never go off on your own of course
Darkfrost: *i stare out past the territory, always secretly hoping to see one of our lost clanmates come back* *i say loud enough for everyone to hear, but it seems as if i'm talking more to ebonypaw* there are plenty of things out there that want to kill you *when i say that i'm half joking to freak ebonypaw out but also serious and i can tell reedtail picked up on that* *i then whip around and walks off, sounding a lot less grim* come on now, why don't we see how well you two are at hunting *i look over at ebonypaw and has a feeling she's never lifted a paw for anything but maybe for a feathery toy* *i then get serious as i really try to teach her* first, you want to smell the area *i open my mouth and there's a scent of mouse that just ran through here* now see if you can smell anything
Reedtail: *assunes slatepaw must know how to hunt, especially if he was with rippletail* you try too *i could already smell the mouse around here*
Ebonypaw sat with her nose in the air and flicked her tail irritably. "The only think I can smell around here is you. Do you even know how to properly groom yourself?" She licked her paw and ran it slowly over her ear. She then looked at Darkfrost and gave him a teasing look. "Perhaps Snowpaw could teach you how, hm?" She then let out a dramatic sigh and sniffed at the air a bit. Her nose wrinkled and she couldn't tell one scent from another. "Oh, I don't know." She looked around and scented the air again as her shoulders sagged. "There are far too many scents here for me to tell apart!"
Slatepaw flicked his tail with an uneasy smile. He glanced to Reedtail and lifted his paw a bit, pointing to a clump of ivy that was crawling it's way up one of the tall pines. "There's a mouse over there," he meowed softly, trying not to scare it, if it was even there after Ebonypaw's rambling. "And I think there's a squirrel a little father off." He said and sniffed the air a bit to make sure he was right.
Darkfrost: *my fur bristles, but only on annoyance at ebonypaw* *i then flick my ear when i overhear slatepaw* if you want to catch prey, you need to keep your voice down *hisses before glancing at slatepaw and then ebonypaw* *without a word i grab her and shoves her over to slatepaw* you seem to focus better this way *grumbles before looking at slatepaw* now slatepaw, why don't you show ebonypaw here how to properly hunt and find that mouse she scared off *narrows my eyes on her* and keep quiet unless you like starving
Ebonypaw hissed with irritation. "You don't have to be so rough, you brute!" She stumbled a bit then froze as she noticed Slatepaw right next to her. She stared, wide-eyed for a moment then straightened up and gave her rumpled fur a few licks. "Well, surely you must know how to teach a cat better than he does." She sniffed a bit and took a pace forward then looked to Slatepaw expectantly.
Slatepaw looked a bit uneasy. "Uh." He glanced to Reedtail for approval then started to padded quietly toward the brush where he'd smelled the mouse. "It's over this way," he meowed then quickly dropped to a crouch. Ebonypaw copied him and watched with wide eyes. "You have to shift your weight from your paws to your body," he whispered and eyed the bush suspiciously. "That way it won't hear you coming." A few heartbeats later, he saw the mouse scrabble out of the leaves and sniff at one of the tree nuts on the ground. Slatepaw shifted then slowly started creeping toward the mouse. He froze when it looked up, but then went back to nibbling on the meal that it had found. When he felt like he was close enough, the gray tom bunched his muscles then launched himself forward and landed square on the mouse, killing it swiftly.