Icy: Just gonna go ahead and give the warning. This chapter is probably gonna be a bit short.

Wingpaw: What? Why?

Icy: Again with the excessively detailed outline entry.

Flarepaw: Aww... I'm tired of these short chapters...

Icy: I know, I know. I really am sorry that they're so short. I'm also sorry that it's taking me so long to update. I'm really busy right now. Don't expect very many updates within the next month. That's just the way it goes.

Mistypaw: Aww...

Icy: Don't be so sad, Mistypaw, everything with your death is finally resolved this chapter.

Mistypaw: Really?

Flarepaw: Yay!

Wingpaw: Finally. It's taken long enough...

Icy: Right then. I won't keep you any longer. Here's chapter twenty seven!


Chapter Twenty Seven

Checkmate


Mosspaw sighed in relief as she padded into the ThunderClan camp. Finally... it took me long enough to get out of that storm. The storm had decided to settle just as she returned to camp. The sun's rays were just starting to poke through the clouds as the sun was ready to set. The part of the sky that wasn't covered in clouds shone with orange and magenta that mixed to create the beautiful sunset.

Are you ready, Mistypaw? 'Cause I am.

Mosspaw headed straight over to the medicine cat den. She didn't even bother to stop and say hello as Mousepaw and Runningpaw tried to greet her. She entered the medicine cat den without hesitation, startling Featherwhisker as he was setting some herbs down. A couple of leaves fell. Featherwhisker gently set the others down.

"Do you mind?" Featherwhisker snapped at her.

"Sorry," Mosspaw muttered. She shuffled her paws as she impatiently waited for Featherwhisker to finish moving the herbs he had been moving.

"Can I help you?" Featherwhisker asked as soon as he finished. He slowly padded over and sat down as Mosspaw opened her jaws to speak.

"I had a dream," Mosspaw finally confessed.

"Really?" Featherwhisker twitched an ear. "Cats have dreams all the time, you know..."

"Mistypaw was in it," Mosspaw put in.

Featherwhisker sighed. "You probably just miss her, Mosspaw. It's completely natural. You miss your sister. It's hard to lose kin. I don't know what I'd do if Sunstar were to die today."

You'd probably be okay because he has multiple lives... Mosspaw kept herself from retorting. She took a moment to remind herself that Featherwhisker was Sunstar's brother.

"It's natural," Featherwhisker repeated. "Does the dream come back? Do you want poppy seeds to help you sleep or something?"

"It's not like that!" Mosspaw exclaimed.

"Are you sure?" Featherwhisker asked.

"Of course! Mistypaw spoke to me!" Mosspaw put in.

"What did she say?" Featherwhisker asked.

"She said..."

"Was that all you could find?" Featherwhisker gasped. Angry at being interrupted, Mosspaw turned around to find out why she had been interrupted. Goosefeather and Spottedpaw were entering the den. Spottedpaw only had a couple of leaves of catmint. Spottedpaw nodded as she padded over to the store of herbs and gently set them down.

"That's all that was left," Goosefeather meowed. "At this rate there won't be any left for leaf-bare."

"Who are we kidding? It's already leaf-bare," Featherwhisker retorted.

"No it's not," Mosspaw couldn't help but putting in. "It's only leaf-fall."

"With these cold winds? The herbs won't survive. Cats are already getting sick—and dying," Featherwhisker added. "Mosspaw, you should understand that more than anyone else. Of course..." Featherwhisker stopped himself mid-sentence. He shook his head. "Goosefeather, help Mosspaw. You'll be able to help her better than I can."

Featherwhisker stood up. He beckoned to Spottedpaw to follow him before exiting the den. Spottedpaw, surprised by the sudden request, twitched her ears as she followed her mentor through the den entrance.

"So what's the problem?" Goosefeather asked Mosspaw.

"I had a dream," Mosspaw meowed. "Mistypaw was in it."

Goosefeather opened his jaws to say something, but Mistypaw kept going.

"Before you tell me it's just me mourning, you're wrong. I spoke with Mistypaw. She needs my help. You're the medicine cat. That's why I came to you. You're good at interpreting dreams. I need help helping Mistypaw."

Goosefeather looked her dead in the eyes. Mosspaw jumped. The look in Goosefeather's was one she had never seen before.

"Kin of the blue flame will form an even stronger flame, which will destroy the claws of blood once and for all."

Mosspaw slowly backed away from Goosefeather. Her terror increased every step. She was lost for words. Goosefeather had just spoken a prophecy.

Goosefeather shook his head to clear it. The look in his eyes returned to that of which Mosspaw was used to. It still wasn't very comforting.

Goosefeather simply sat there and watched her, as if he was observing her reaction. Mosspaw got the sense that he had been waiting a very long time to see her reaction to this prophecy.

This prophecy... why is he telling it to me?

Mosspaw took another step back.

Is this prophecy... about me...?

Mosspaw was about to open her jaws to question Goosefeather about the prophecy when she stepped on something soft and mushy with her hind paw. She turned around to see dark red berry that was partly crushed up.

Mosspaw stared at the berry. "Goosefeather, what are these?" she asked. "They don't look like juniper berries..."

"Oh, they're deathberries," Goosefeather replied calmly. "You know, the ones your sister accidentally ate."

Mosspaw took a closer look at the deathberries. The small teeth marks of an apprentice Mistypaw's size and age were missing. Instead, there were clean claw marks.

Checkmate.

"You did this, didn't you?" Mosspaw asked rhetorically, turning to face Goosefeather as she asked the question. She couldn't wait for his reaction. Everything was falling in to place as it was supposed to. Just like Mistypaw had told her it would. Mosspaw suddenly felt confident in every word she said and every paw step she took as she side-stepped away from the deathberries to give Goosefeather a better view of his masterpiece

"Who's to say Featherwhisker or Spottedpaw didn't do it?" Goosefeather asked calmly.

Featherwhisker returned to the den at that moment. Spottedpaw was no longer with him. Mosspaw assumed he had given Spottedpaw some sort of task to keep her away while what was about to happen happened.

"Goosefeather did it," Featherwhisker meowed without hesitation. "He asked me where the deathberries were. I didn't tell him. I assume he found them anyway, even though I hid them from him. He told everyone that Mistypaw accidentally ate them—even me. I see now that was not the case," Featherwhisker added with a quick glance at the pile of deathberry mush left by Mosspaw's recent step.

"So what are you going to do about it?" Goosefeather asked calmly.

"Tell Sunstar about it," Featherwhisker replied. "You'll be kicked out of the Clan."

"No he won't," Mosspaw meowed. "He'll retire. He's so old that everyone will just assume he's gone insane. He'll be moved to the elders' den immediately, won't he?"

"Of course he will," Featherwhisker retorted in reply.

"So why tell the entire Clan he's a murderer? Just let them settle with the fact that he's old. Goosefeather," Mosspaw continued, turning from facing Featherwhisker to Goosefeather. "Ask Sunstar if you can retire. If you don't retire on your own, then we will tell Sunstar about what you did to my sister," Mosspaw added.

"It seems as if I have no other choice, doesn't it?" Goosefeather retorted.

"That's what I thought," Mosspaw retorted back, nodding to Featherwhisker in approval. It was settled.

"I'm going to go tell Spottedpaw..." Featherwhisker muttered, quickly padding out of the den.

I did it, Mistypaw. You can enter StarClan now, can't you? I've settled it. Goosefeather is going to be punished for what he did to you. But it's not a cruel punishment. I think you'll appreciate it. Won't you? You've never liked cats being punished, so I figure this is the best solution to quell your discontent up there. Now go enjoy your time in StarClan!

Mosspaw contently lifted her head as she began to exit the medicine cat den. However, Goosefeather was determined to get in one last phrase as a medicine cat before his retirement.

"Kin of the blue flame will form an even stronger flame! Which will destroy the claws of blood once and for all!" Goosefeather cried.

Mosspaw shook her head to clear it of Goosefeather's nonsense as her paws reached the entrance.

"It's coming for you, Mosspaw! The time for action is almost here! Never hesitate to do what's right! Make sure you're ready! Don't let it knock you down in surprise! Mosspaw! Mosspaw!" Goosefeather kept trying to get her attention, but Mosspaw briskly padded away from the ex medicine cat.

Okay, he's not just insane because of what he did to my sister. He's literally going insane. All this stuff about a prophecy and whatnot—it's just insane. That's what Goosefeather is. Insane. And I'm not going to let him get to me!

Mosspaw padded over to the fresh kill pile. Stonepaw was on his way over there.

"Mosspaw!" Stonepaw exclaimed, running over to her once he saw her. "What's going on? I just got back from training. What did I miss?"

"We got him, Stonepaw," Mosspaw whispered in reply.

"Him? Who did we get?" Stonepaw asked.

"Goosefeather. We got him. Featherwhisker and I convinced him to retire. He's going to pay for what he did to Mistypaw—and he's going to do so while watching us every day from the back of a den crowded with cats too old to properly care for themselves. We got him, Stonepaw," Mosspaw whispered.

"We got him," Stonepaw repeated the words to convince himself that they were true.

Mosspaw purred. "This calls for a celebration. Come on, you can pick from the pile before I do."

"Wow! You must be really happy if you're being this nice to me!" Stonepaw exclaimed. "I think I'll take this offer while I still can!"

"Nope! Too late!" Mosspaw meowed teasingly as she immediately grabbed the vole Stonepaw was going for.

"Hey!" Stonepaw exclaimed.

"You'll have to get it from me!" Mosspaw teased, grabbing the vole and running over to the apprentices' den. Stonepaw tackled her and quickly took the vole back from her.

"Got it!" Stonepaw cried in victory.

Mosspaw and Stonepaw both purred in amusement as they sat there. They eventually decided the vole was big enough for both of them to share. They basked in the light of the rising moon as they finished the vole.

We got him, Mistypaw. We won!


Icy: Holy StarClan...

Wingpaw: What?

Flarepaw: What's wrong?

Mistypaw: This is actually a happy ending to a chapter! What could be wrong, Icy?

Icy: That's the problem. It's a happy ending to a chapter. I didn't realize I was capable of such a thing...

Wingpaw: (facepalm)

Flarepaw: Icy...

Mistypaw: So what's after this?

Icy: What?

Mistypaw: Well, now the mini-arc of my death is over. What's next?

Icy: Well, there's the whole thing with Stonepaw and his allegiance with the Alliances, plus Mosspaw's finally heard the prophecy for the first time. Mosspaw is ready to get back at Thistleclaw for what he did to Rusty, but her need to finish everything off is going to increase once she finds out what he did last chapter... Mosspaw better enjoy this feeling of victory and happiness while she can because it's not going to last very long...

Wingpaw: How is she going to react to Princess' death?

Flarepaw: Will Stonepaw follow the light? Or is he forever sworn to the dark side? And for that matter, is he going to follow the dark side? Or is he going to make his own dark side?

Wingpaw: He can't just make his own dark side! There are two sides! Light and dark! You can't just make another one!

Flarepaw: I was speaking figuratively!

Mistypaw: (sigh) Icy, remind me why I was excited to join this crew again...

Icy: Well, it's a fantastic doorway to the world of video games...

Mistypaw: (pops up) That's good enough for me! Let's go beat Bowser's kids in NSMBWU!

Icy: (sigh) Well, it's been fun! I can't promise another update very soon, but hopefully it won't take as long as it did this time. Sorry about the relatively short chapter. It was definitely longer than the last few chapters, though. Improvement in chapter length is always a good thing. See you next time!

~Icy and the crew