A Warrior to Be Made

(Based on, and inspired by, the series: Warrior cats)

Shadowclaw, a very dark-gray she-cat with black stripes, wandered hopefully throughout the forest in search of her half-brother, Burningpaw. He was to move up from his apprentices position to become a warrior at sun-high today, and he needed to know. Warriors were respected throughout all the clans; Shadowclan, Shadowclaw's clan, Thunderclan, Windclan, and Riverclan.

As she made her way into a trotting pace through Shadowclan territory, she felt relieved to have the thick forest of pine trees and pine braches that gave shadows to hide her pelt so she wouldn't have to worry about other cats seeing her. She wanted to search for her half-brother in peace and alone. She had left camp without telling anyone where she was going because her brother had sneaked out of camp. Her original plan had been to not tell anyone that she would even be gone, but the deputy, Tawnypelt, had caught her leaving camp. She had yelled across the camp clearing, which had gotten every other cats attention. Tawnypelt had asked her "Where are you going?" She hadn't wanted to waste any time chatting so she had replied with "Out."

Shadowclaw then began to race across the marshy, forest ground in hopes of finding her half-brother. She then thought of when he had left. They were both picking ticks out of all the elders' fur with mouse bile. During that time, she had looked up, only to see him leaving. He, too, had intentionally left without anyone knowing, but she had seen.

Shadowclan continued through the forest, she spotted a squirrel. 'Why not,' she thought, 'it would be a good excuse for my absence when I get back.' She got into the hunter's crouch and stalked over slowly over to it until she was close enough to ambush it. Just as she pounced for it, a flash of orange fur lunged from the left and caught the squirrel before it even had time to move. The cat had the lifeless body dangling from its jaws. 'Impressive,' thought Shadowclaw, then her paws hit the cat's side, the prey lost from his jaws, making them both tumble down a hillside in a ball of fur. Before she knew it, they had both hit the bottom with a thud,knocking the wind out of Shadowclaw, and the orange cat, in a second, had Shadowclaw pinned to the ground on her back, her under-belly exposed to an attack.

"Ow!" Shadowclaw yelled as she gasped for breath. "Let go!" she demanded.

"Alright," the orange cat snarled, "what's with taking me – Shadowclaw?" he said. "Huh, it is you!" He got off her, allowing her to get up and shake off the moss that her pelt had collected along the fall.

As Shadowclaw fully stood up, her eyes scanned the cat that had pinned her down. His scent was almost too recognizable, and he looked like a flame with the sun hitting his pelt. His light-orange stripes against his dark-orange pelt was so easily distinguishable, you would know who it was from ten fox-lengths away.

"Burningpaw?" she said. "Is that you? I thought I had characterized your scent correctly. Look, it was an accident. I didn't mean to push you down. I had leaped for the same squirrel, and you happened to run right in front of me..." She trailed off before continuing. "Burningpaw, how come you left me with tick duty. You know, I didn't have to volunteer to help you, and I don't enjoy doing it, much less by myself."

"Sorry; I guess I was just frustrated that I had to do it again." Burningpaw said.

Shadowclaw scowled. It wasn't like him to leave just because he was frustrated about something. He would usually talk about it. And he never would just abandon her because of that. He was always so sweet to her, no matter what mood he was in. "Well, why did you run off? Why are you out alone?" she said in a concerned voice.

Burningpaw's eyes flashed with guilt. "Why are youout alone?" Burningpaw said accusingly, and then his eyes softened as he spoke again. "Sorry; well, to tell you the truth, I left to see a friend in Thunderclan, but before you freak out, I stayed within the permitted area of the clans." The four clans lived around a lake that would prevent some clans from going to a gathering without crossing another clan's boundaries, so all four clans made an agreement that cats should stay three fox-lengths close to the lake.

At first, Shadowclan was furious with him; what would've happened if someone had caught sight of them? Then she felt pity upon him. She, too, had had a friend in a different clan, Riverclan to be exact, that she used to visit away from gatherings or without permission. They had been best friends, but that had been before the clans had caught her, and she had been punished severely because she had broken the warrior code, which is a set of laws that keep the clans in order. She had split her loyalties between her clan and her friend.

"Are you mad at me?" Burningpaw's anxious voice broke though her thoughts.

"No, well, not really," Shadowclaw said, "but I am worried for you. Don't you know that splitting your loyalties between clan and cat is dangerous? What would happen if you two met in battle? I'm worried that you might not be able to handle hurting your friend. You need to tell your friend that you two can't visit away from gatherings, ok?"

At first, Burningpaw looked unhappy, then looked like he understood, then brightened up as he said, "But I can still meet her at gatherings?"

'Her!' The thought of him taking a mate from another clan was something Shadowclaw couldn't handle. She's seen what happens when you do. But Shadowclaw wasn't going to interfere with anymore, so she simply said, "Yes, you two can meet then, but just don't go too far with your relationship, ok?"

"Don't worry," he said, "I won't. So, why are you out here?"

Shadowclaw looked at him leniently. "Well, I was out looking for you, but now that I've found you, I guess I can tell you. Your warrior ceremony is today-"

"Yes, I knew it!" Burningpaw said, interrupting Shadowclaw.

"Burningpaw, don't interrupt me. Anyway, it's at sun-high today, and I thought you'd want to know... and look," Shadowclaw said, lifting her muzzle to the sky, "the sun is almost high above our heads." Burningpaw looked up, and that gave Shadowclaw a chance to get him back to camp in a playful way. She cuffed his ear playfully and ran off into the forest towards camp, Buringpaw hard on her paws in pursuit.

~***~

As Burningpaw made his way through the forest in pursuit of his step-sister, he couldn't stop thinking of his warrior ceremony. 'Oh wow,' he thought, 'I'm finally going to be a warrior!' His step-sister then made it through the camp entrance, followed by him. As he made his way in and out of the small, bracken-coated entrance tunnel and out into the clearing of the camp, he gazed at the familiar sight of the camp.

The camp had a nursery, a warrior's den, an apprentices den, the medicine cat den, the leader's den, the High-rock for speaking, and the dirt-place. The nursery was for she-cats expecting or nursing kits. The warrior's den was for warriors, which they could take on an apprentice. The apprentices den was for apprentices, and at sun-high, he would no longer be one of them. The medicine cat den was for the medicine cat, for sleeping, their apprentice, storing herbs, treating cats, and other things. They would usually cover wounds with cobwebs, which was the most common thing they used and had all the time. The most important part of being a medicine cat was interpreting StarClan's messages, omens, prophesies, and signs; StarClan is all the clan's ancestors, in silverpelt - the long line of billions of stars in the sky, and they would usually be important. The leader was, of course, the one who kept the clan in order, with the help of a deputy. The other three clans had set ups similar to theirs.

The clearing was just beginning to fill with cats as Russetstar, the clan leader, called for a clan meeting. "Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the High-rock for a clan meeting." He pronounced the ceremonial words that he used for every clan meeting. Burningpaw pushed his way to the front of the crowd and sat patiently. "As you all know, we have a warrior to be made. Burningpaw?" Russetstar called.

Burningpaw stood and called his appearance. Russetstar walked down off the High-rock and proceeded with the ceremony. "Burningpaw," Russetstar said, "do you promise to up-hold the warrior code and protect your clan, even at the cost of your life?"

"I do." Burningpaw said.

"Then by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Burningpaw, from this moment on you shall be known as Burningspirit. StarClan honors your bravery and compassion." Russetstar touched Burningspirit's shoulder to fully accept him.

"Burningspirit! Burningspirit!" The clan cheered his name in happy welcome.

'Yes,' Burningspirit thought, 'I'm a warrior now!' His name suited him well. He had a pelt of dark-orange and light-orange stripes ran along his back, sides, face, and shoulders, which caused him to look like a flame, sun or no sun.

Burningspirit saw Shadowclaw running over to him. "Congratulations!" she said when she stood next to him. "I'm so proud of you. You're finally a warrior!"

"Thanks," said Burningspirit.

"Mom would've been proud too if she were here..." Shadowclaw said sadly. Their mother had died in the river separating Thunderclan from Shadowclan.

Burningspirit looked at her sympathetically as he said, "She is, but she's a StarClan warrior ancestor is all. Who knows; she could be standing right next to us." Feeling uncomfortable, he changed the subject, saying, "Well, I'm really tired from all the excitement, so I'm gonna go to bed. Besides, I have silent vigil. By the way, any advice for vigil tonight?"

Shadowclaw looked at him playfully before replying. "Yeah; don't talk!"

Burningspirit gave an affectionate cuff around Shadowclaw's ear as he purred noisily. "Well, I've got to take as much sleep as I can, so I'll be in the warrior's den if you need me."

Shadowclaw looked at him affectionately. "Oh, yes, you need lots of rest. Well, see you later."

"Bye!" Burningspirit said as he watched his step-sister run off. Burningspirit began to walk to the warrior's den as he went over the sequence of events that had happened that day. He began to think about the discussion he'd had about his friend with Shadowclaw. Her name was Icewing, and she had become a warrior just yesterday at sun-down. 'I have to tell her that we can't play anymore so we don't get caught and into trouble.' he thought.

~***~

Burningspirit awoke, confused by his surrounds, then he remembered. 'Oh, right,' he thought, 'I'm a warrior now.' Then another thought hit him. "Oh," he said, "what time is it?" He looked out the entrance. "Aw, mouse-bile! I'm late!"

A tail whacked him as a cat hissed, "Quiet down! You're not late. The sun just went down. Now can you please stop shouting?! Some cats are actually trying to sleep!"

"Oh, sorry Ravenpool..." Burningspirit said. "I just don't want to be late." He walked out the entrance and looked around the camp. The first thing he saw that gave some interest was Russetstar walking towards him.

"Hello, Burningspirit." Russetstar said. "Are you ready for silent vigil?"

Burningspirit purred happily. "More than you know." he meowed. "I've had a fully regenerating rest."

"Good," Russetstar said, "now you just have to stay awake for the rest of the night."

"Will do." Burningspirit said, then ran off towards the entrance and sat down, ears pricked, eyes alert, for any movement out of the ordinary. He was now a warrior, and nothing could get past him.


Well, this was originally a story made for school, but I liked it a lot, so have fun reading something else when you're done!

Signed: Hawkbelly