Disclaimer: This series belongs to Erin Hunter!
Warnings: It's pretty dark, and obviously involes character death. It's just Hollyleaf's remorse in written form, I suppose. The ending is open, since I haven't read the next book, and I have no idea where she ends up.
Author's Note: Hollyleaf was definitely one of my favorite characters, and I felt like she went in an absolutely horrible way. I felt bad for her, though I don't think she should have said all that she did at the Gathering. It seemed like she totally lost it. I feel like the truth would have wormed its way out eventually on its own, but I guess she can't take it all back now. Haha.
It's been a long while since I've written any Warriors fanfiction, so I might be a bit rusty. Going from a person's perspective to a cat's is a little difficult. Ironically enough, the last one I wrote was from Leafpool's point of view on her mistake - which later leads to all this. Anyway, please read, and let me know what you think! ^^
What is this feeling? It's everywhere in me – my head, my heart, and it's drizzling into my ragged breath, making even that simple action physically impossible. My throat's closing up, and I feel like a hole just opened up in my heart, filled instantly with nothing but searing pain. My thoughts are whirling, and it's like my paws no longer belong to me but to someone else.
Oh, if only! Someone take all of this away!
Ah, I know this feeling. I remember learning about it when I once walked the path of a medicine cat; it's fractured. That's what I am – just like an overused bone. How did I learn to heal those again? Rest the bone, and it'll eventually heal on its own. If only the wounds and scars that tear at my soul now could mend with rest. If only things in my life weren't so complicated!
If only, if only…is that all I can think of?
I finally figured out who my mother is,;and on some strange, mangled impulse, I tried to kill her. Murder her in cold blood, but through malicious means that weren't claws – deathberries. Think me disgusting, but I have reasoning.
Or do I?
I just ruined everything. Everything. All my life I followed the warrior code, lived and breathed it like it kept me alive, and now I cracked it. Fractured it. I'm officially a monster. Foxes and badgers couldn't do the damage I just did, never in a thousand moons. I'm just as evil as they are now. Is this how my Clan will remember me? How my own mother will remember me? For some reason the hatred I feel for Leafpool dies away as I rush through bracken and bramble, thorns digging into my skin and drawing droplet after droplet of ruddy blood. It's as if the venom in my veins I felt for my mother spills out through these tiny punctures, as if all my emotions are just gradually dripping away.
I can't feel anything anymore. Why?
I wonder why it's come down to this. I hear my brothers' voices and wish they would stop following me. They can't save me. I'm already too far gone; I'm like mist snagged by sunlight – I'm just not here anymore.
I'm sorry, so sorry. I didn't mean to drag you into this.
My poor brothers - and Brambleclaw - I'm sorry. If only I could tell them that. Before my demise I want to be forgiven, but I know I don't deserve that after what I've done. After all that I've shattered, fractured. That word comes to mind again. I wish my Clan, at the very least, would remember me that way – something broken that couldn't be fixed, instead of crazy, instead of detestable like their nightmares, like the dirt beneath their paws. But I know that's how I deserve to be remembered. I wonder how my brothers will remember me as they live on?
Please remember me fondly, I think. Please remember our adventures, our laughter, our dreams together. Remember us as us, not as just me. Remember us!
I see a tunnel in the distance, and think of how my life has done nothing but spiral downwards in the last few days. It seems like an appropriate place. I hear thundering pawsteps behind me, scent my brothers on the leafbare wind, but I do not turn around until I'm in the crumbling tunnel. I can't face them yet, and I know it's going to collapse, I know. I need this punishment.
I need to go now.
I know running from fears isn't right of me, but I'll make up for it. I'll go to the dark forest where all the other fractured souls are and rot away for moons and moons like an old oak tree. Or maybe I'll go nowhere at all. I just hope that whatever life comes next, I can carry my memories with me. Because there are just some things I can't forget.
Us. Together. Happy. When we knew who we were. Who we really were. Back before I ruined it all.
I pivot around to face my brothers one last time, my emerald eyes lambent in the pale wash of moonlight, determined. Determined to fade. The pain – this fractured feeling cuts into every part - every fraction of me – before the silent shadows take hold.
I want to scream in pain, but I know this is reparation. I know this is my future. My bleak, bleak future.
I go to say "I'm sorry," but the cave collapses – fractures – before I have time to. Water pounds in my ears, ensnaring me in its cold, glacial depths. Moist soil also falls on top of me, pebbles and other wayward debris. It's like my own life is pushing me to my own death.
The irony is enough to kill me.
Water gushes into my mouth and I can't breathe – not that I could before – and my world is turned quickly to black haze. My bones break –I can hear and feel them snapping - and everything feels chilled, like I'm changing into frost. At least I died knowing someone tried to save me. At least, maybe, not everyone back in the living world will loathe me.
If I become a star, don't forget to wish on me.
What a fool's hope. What a fractured dream. I don't deserve that, not after all I've done. I wish, though, I could have heard their laughter one last time before I left. It's been so long, too long.
And it's all my fault.
With only the natural elements to bury me I feel so bitter, though I know I have no right to. This is my fate. This is what I deserve. This is what it's like to be fractured, body and soul. Guilt and regret flood through me; I wish I could go back and tell them all how sorry I am, for everything. Especially my mother.
Leafpool…I wonder if we could have continued living the lie? I don't think you would have been so bad of a mother, after all.
I murdered not only Ashfur, but the only real love I could have had before my untimely demise. Suddenly, bright light floods my vision. It draws me in, just like the water, the cold, cold water, but warmer…