A/N: Ahhh, I haven't been updating. Sorryyyy. D: Truth be told, I have about two more chapters written down in my notebook. I'm just so...lazy. xD Anyways, onto the chapter.
Sunlight shone down on the bare WindClan territory, warming the pelts of the dozing cats. Out near a rock slept a black-and-white cat, his long tail curled over his nose. As the sun rose steadily higher in the sky, the tomcat stirred and sat up, yawning.
"I sent out hunting patrols."
The sudden mew made Tallstar jump a little. He quickly relaxed, recognizing his deputy. "Good morning, Mudclaw," he meowed brightly, nodding. He glanced up at the sky. "Looks like another sweltering greenleaf day."
"Is that really something to be cheerful about?" grumbled Mudclaw, tail twitching. "It's getting harder and harder to get water."
Tallstar frowned slightly. "Perhaps we can try the gorge?" he suggested.
Mudclaw looked doubtful, but he didn't respond, so Tallstar called Onewhisker and Webfoot. As soon as they arrived, Tallstar announced, "As you all know, there is a drought, and our water supply is diminishing. We will be going to the gorge for water."
Onewhisker, who also looked a bit dubious, mewed hesitantly, "The gorge is fairly steep. Are you sure it's safe?"
"We'll be going there to make sure it is safe," the leader replied. "Come." He led the three cats out of camp and across WindClan territory. As they padded along, Tallstar noticed that all the grass was dead and parched. This is more serious than I thought, he realized in dismay.
Soon they arrived at the gorge. Tallstar peered over the edge. It was a fairly difficult climb—how would the elders ever manage it? He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again, they were full of worry and concern. He shot a swift glance upward and sent a silent prayer to StarClan, but it didn't help that it was mid-morning and all he could see was the sun.
"Right," muttered Mudclaw, breaking the silence. "Anyone want to try going down there?"
After a moment of uneasy silence, Onewhisker mewed bravely, "I will."
The cats stepped back a bit to let Onewhisker pass. He reached a paw down until it touched a small ledge jutting out from the gorge side and hopped down. He edged forward and went down onto another ledge. The tomcat's progress seemed agonizingly slow, and the others looked on with bated breath, even Mudclaw.
Onewhisker seemed to have gathered up more confidence, as he was traveling quicker. Suddenly, one of his front paws, which he had just placed on a rock, slipped. The warrior tumbled down, letting out a startled yelp, and came to a halt on one of the larger ledges towards the bottom.
"Are you okay?" called Tallstar anxiously, his voice bouncing off the walls of the gorge.
"Yes." One whisker's reply was faint, but he didn't sound as if he were in pain. He scrambled back up the gorge—maybe quicker than he should have—but he made it back safely.
"This is too dangerous," Tallstar murmured, eyes clouded with worry.
Webfoot narrowed his eyes and asked, "So what will we do for water?"
Tallstar stood silently for a moment, and Webfoot and Onewhisker exchanged anxious glances; Mudclaw's eyes were narrowed as he gazed at his leader. Finally, Tallstar answered, "There is no other alternative. There is a Gathering in three days; I will ask Leopardstar then for permission to drink from the river in their territory."
"As if RiverClan would help us," snorted Mudclaw.
"They might," Tallstar argued. "Besides, there's nothing else we can do except ask for help."
Onewhisker was nodding in agreement, but Mudclaw lashed his tail, clearly dissatisfied.
Tallstar only blinked and, ignoring Mudclaw's obvious disapproval, flicked his tail to beckon to the other cats to follow him before padding back towards the WindClan camp. They plodded across the territory gloomily, not speaking. Tallstar was lost in thought, pondering the sun as he led his warriors home.
The sun has always given us life and light. Will it end up destroying us?