Okay, there's a few things I'd like to say before we begin the epilogue of this story. First of all, I'm so proud of myself. I've actually finished a story from start to finish! A story of good quality! I'm really happy. And sad, of course. I'm sad because this story is over. I'm going to miss it. Thanks to everybody who has stayed with me the whole time! I hope everybody who has read it the whole time has enjoyed it. I hope no one was/is disappointed by the ending. Of course, I'm always open to thoughts about the ending and suggestions for my writing in the future that can help me along in becoming a better writer.
I know I've had this thing where almost every chapter is named after a song. Well, the epilogue doesn't have a title besides "Epilogue," but if it did I would choose "Tongue Tied," which is a really good song by "Grouplove." The atmosphere that the song sets is one similar to the light atmosphere set by this epilogue.
Well, without further ado, I'll let you guys get to the Epilogue. You've deserved it.
A silver-and-white tabby she-cat stretched her legs before getting up. She grabbed the bones from the sparrow she had been eating and properly buried them. She then got to her paws and pondered over what to do next. All of the patrols had already gone and come back. It was sunset now, almost moonrise. She padded over to the nursery.
"Hi, Ivystar!" a dark ginger she-kit with green eyes greeted her.
"Well hello, Squirrelkit!" Ivystar replied kindly to the young kit.
"What about me?" a brown-and-cream tom kit asked, blinking his green eyes at Ivystar.
"Hello to you, too, Branchkit," Ivystar purred in reply.
"Yay! Ivystar said hello to us!" Squirrelkit and Branchkit called out happily. The two kits ran happily over to their mother and bounced around at her feet.
"Hello, Seedtail. Having fun with these two?" Ivystar asked.
The pale ginger queen purred in reply. "Have you seen Maroonkit lately? I feel like I never see her anymore…"
"Right here!" a dark brown she-kit with amber eyes ran over to them. "Sorry, I was in Leafpool's den again."
"Did you have fun in there?" Seedtail asked. "You better have behaved yourself."
"She was very helpful, actually," Leafpool meowed, walking over much slower than Maroonkit had ran. Moleheart was next to her. "Maroonkit says she wants to be my apprentice. I came here to tell you that I would be very honored to have her as my apprentice."
"That's so awesome, Maroonkit!" Squirrelkit cried.
"When I get my first battle scars you can help me so they don't get infected," Branchkit boasted.
Maroonkit purred in amusement. "Sure, sure."
"Are you sure you wouldn't be kept in camp because you wouldn't be any help out in battle?" Squirrelkit teased.
"Hey!" Branchkit cried. The tom kit immediately leaped at his sister.
"Maroonkit, thanks for helping get the thorn out of my paw," Moleheart meowed to his daughter.
"It was awesome!" Maroonkit replied with a wide grin.
"Hey, quiet down! Some of us are trying to get some sleep, you know!" Cherryfrost's meow came from inside the nursery.
Ivystar purred in amusement before padding inside the nursery. She found Cherryfrost curled up in her nest with her two kits bouncing around her. Amberwillow was trying to rest in the nest next to Cherryfrost, but was unsuccessful because of the noisy kits.
"Dewkit, Berrykit, why don't you come outside and play with Maroonkit, Squirrelkit, and Branchkit?" Ivystar suggested.
"Hi, Ivystar!" the gray tom kit with white paws and blue eyes cried. He immediately ran over. "Berrykit, it's Ivystar!"
"Really? Ivystar came in here? To visit us? Awesome!" the ginger-and-cream she-kit with amber eyes replied, running over and skidding to a halt next to her brother.
"Let Cherryfrost and Amberwillow rest," Ivystar ordered them. "You can go outside and play, but leave the resting queens alone."
"Yes ma'am!" Dewkit and Berrykit replied monotonously. They looked at each other before bursting out of the den. Ivystar sighed as she turned back to the two queens.
"Dewkit and Berrykit sure have been under every cat's paws lately," Ivystar commented, trying to hide her amusement.
"Thank you for helping, Ivystar," Cherryfrost meowed. "I haven't slept well lately because they keep keeping me awake."
"Ever since Daisy died of greencough it has been a lot harder taking care of the kits," Amberwillow agreed. The gray she-cat's belly was round and huge with the kits that she was expecting.
"Snowstorm has tried helping me, but Dewkit and Berrykit are such a pawful!" Cherryfrost exclaimed.
"Robinflight has tried helping as well," Amberwillow put in.
"Dewkit and Berrykit aren't much younger than Maroonkit, Squirrelkit, and Branchkit. Maybe a moon, but probably less. Maybe I'll make them apprentices at the same time to get them out from under your paws sooner," Ivystar suggested.
"That's a nice idea," Cherryfrost purred.
"Thanks for stopping by, Ivystar," Amberwillow meowed. "I know you're busy."
"Especially since your kits' warrior ceremonies are coming up soon," Cherryfrost put in. "Have you come up with good names for them?"
"I've put a lot of thought and time into it," Ivystar admitted, "and I think they're going to like the names I give them."
"Good," Cherryfrost meowed. "Bramblestar did a pretty good job with my name."
"I love the name you gave me," Amberwillow admitted. "My brother's name is pretty good, too."
"Well, speaking of names, it's almost time for their ceremony," Ivystar meowed. "I'd better go."
"Thanks for stopping by!" Amberwillow and Cherryfrost meowed. Ivystar nodded in farewell before exiting the den.
On her way to the highledge she stopped and greeted Mothblaze and Robinflight. As she climbed up the highledge she recalled how Robinflight had been a kind apprentice to Moleheart while Mothblaze had been a pawful for Cherryfrost. Poor Cherryfrost, Ivystar couldn't help but think. As soon as she finished mentoring Mothblaze, who was such a pawful, she had to start taking care of her kits, Dewkit and Berrykit, who are even more of a pawful. It's a good thing she has a high level of patience…
Ivystar stood up on the highledge and looked across the clearing. She would often sit up on the highledge and observe the Clan. She purred in amusement as she watched Hazelpaw, Mudpaw, and Rosepaw play-fight by the apprentices' den. They had only been apprentices for a couple of moons. Blossomfall and Toadstep tried to scold their kits but ended up being dragged into the fight. Ivystar didn't even bother trying to hide her amusement as she watched the fight. As Ivystar watched the fight she realized just how much Rosepaw looked like her mother. Rosepaw was a tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with green eyes. Mudpaw was a brown-and-black tabby she-cat with amber eyes. Hazelpaw… Ivystar blinked. Hazelpaw was named after Hazeltail, who looked just like her. Hazelpaw was a gray-and-white she-cat with blue eyes. Ivystar purred as she thought of Hazeltail, the cat who she loved. Ivystar decided it was time to save Blossomfall and Toadstep.
"All cats old enough to catch their own prey gather for a Clan meeting!" Ivystar called out. She patiently waited as everyone gathered around. Brackenfur, who had recently joined the elders' den, helped Purdy out of the den. Cherryfrost helped Amberwillow, whose belly was so large she could barely walk, out of the nursery. Hazelpaw, Mudpaw, and Rosepaw immediately stopped fighting, much to their parents' relief. Leafpool and Maroonkit padded out of the medicine cat den, each cat with a ball of moss in their jaws. Mothblaze and Robinflight greeted Snowstorm as he padded out from the warriors' den. Cloudtail, his father, followed right behind him. Brightheart greeted them before padding to the front of the clearing and sitting down next to Cinderheart. Graypaw, Dovepaw, and Firepaw sat next to them.
"I, Ivystar, leader of ThunderClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down upon these three apprentices," Ivystar began. "They have trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Cinderheart, is Graypaw ready to become a warrior?"
"Ready as ever," Cinderheart replied.
"Brightheart, is Dovepaw ready to become a warrior?" Ivystar asked.
"Absolutely," Brightheart replied.
"And I believe that Firepaw is ready to become a warrior," Ivystar meowed with confidence. She had chosen to mentor Firepaw, Hazeltail's third kit, herself, rather than letting anyone else mentor her. Ivystar could have mentored one of Cinderheart's kits, but she chose to wait and mentor one of Hazeltail's kits instead.
"Graypaw, Dovepaw, Firepaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your Clan, even at the cost of your life?" Ivystar asked.
"I do," Graypaw replied.
"I do," Dovepaw replied.
"I do," Firepaw replied.
"Then by the powers of StarClan I give you your warrior names in return," Ivystar meowed. "Graypaw, from now on you shall be known as Graysparrow. StarClan honors you for your loyalty and determination. Dovepaw, from now on you shall be known as Doveflight. StarClan honors you for your courage and intelligence. Firepaw, from now on you shall be known as Fireblaze. StarClan honors you for your bravery and thoughtfulness." Ivystar then leaped down and rested her muzzle of each of the new warriors' heads. They each licked her shoulder in return. Ivystar then stepped away from them.
"Graysparrow! Doveflight! Fireblaze! Graysparrow! Doveflight! Fireblaze!" The Clan called out their new names.
"Graysparrow, Doveflight, and Fireblaze shall sit vigil tonight once it is moonhigh," Ivystar meowed before concluding the ceremony. "It's only moonrise now, so you have a few minutes to talk to your friends if you want."
"We also get to talk to our family!" Graysparrow reminded her.
"And our mentors!" Fireblaze put in. "Thanks for everything, Ivystar!"
"You are the best mother a cat could ask for!" Doveflight boasted.
"Thank you so much," Ivystar meowed. "You three are the best kits a mother could ask for."
"We're not kits anymore, though," Doveflight meowed.
"That's right. We're warriors now! Thanks to you!" Graysparrow put in.
"Thank you so much, Ivystar!" Fireblaze meowed. "I know Hazeltail and Foxleap are our birth parents, but you are the cat that taught us everything you know. You are the one that visited us even during the busy leaf-bare days when half the Clan had greencough. You are the one that has taken care of us for the past twelve moons. You are our true mother."
Ivystar purred. "Thank you so much Fireblaze, Graysparrow, Doveflight…" Ivystar trailed off as she was lost for words.
Fireblaze purred. "I guess it's about time for our vigil, then."
"We'd better start getting silent," Doveflight agreed.
"See you tomorrow morning, Ivystar," Graysparrow added.
"See you tomorrow morning," Ivystar purred in reply. She nodded before padding away and letting everyone else congratulate them. She climbed up to the leader's den but stood outside and watched the Clan as they congratulated her and Hazeltail's kits.
Hazeltail, can you hear me? Ivystar thought as she lifted her gaze to the bright starry sky above her. Can you see our kits? They're warriors now. I'm so proud of them, and I know you are too. Even though they can take care of themselves now, I will always protect them. I love them as much as I love you, and I will give all of my nine lives to save their lives and see you again. I love you, Hazeltail.
Aww, what a nice ending. Even I, who often despise romance, found that to be a touching ending.
So…I hope you've enjoyed it! I'm sad to say it's over, but I'm almost glad it is. It wasn't too short of a story and it wasn't too long of a story. I've enjoyed the story just writing it. Hell, I've even enjoyed being part of the audience as I read it to proofread it! I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!
If you enjoyed this story then you probably enjoy stories that are dark and angst-y. Well, I'm going to start writing another story soon that is just as dark as this one. It's going to be called "Zero Two." It's going to be about Cinderheart and Cinderpelt. I don't want to spoil any of it, so that's all I'll say for now.
I'm sad to say goodbye, but this story really is over now. I hope you've enjoyed it!
Goodbye! Good luck at life! Nah, that's a boring way to say goodbye to people I may never talk to again. Let me think of something better than that... Ah, there we go.
May StarClan light your path!