My first SparkClan challenge. Murder - 17.

"I want her dead by dawn."

I nodded, my whiskers shaking slightly. "Yes, Minnowstar. I'll... I'll try my best."

"I should hope so." Minnowstar's amber eyes glinted in the darkness of her cave-den. I dipped my head again as a sign of respect, and shuffled out of the den, keeping my throat exposed as a sign of submission. Basically, it demonstrated that I, her best (and only) assassin, was completely at her mercy, and she could kill me whenever she felt like it.

I knew that I looked ridiculous, with my hindquarters wagging around, but it was worth it to see the approving look on Minnowstar's face. I breathed a sigh of relief once I was back in the sunlight, knowing that despite the humiliation, I could live another day. Unlike some other unlucky soul in RiverClan, who would be killed tonight when Minnowstar would inevitably have one of her bad moods.

Unlike Greywing, who would be dead by dawn. Courtesy of me.

A cold wind blew around the camp, rustling the reeds of the den walls. I shivered slightly, ruffling my blue-grey fur, and looked around camp. Two rogues were smirking at me from next to one of the mercenaries' dens, obviously laughing at my ridiculous display. I shook my head and continued looking. The former medicine den, which had been converted into an apprentice training area, had one of the two half-deputies - Petalfur - sitting next to it, washing herself. Across from the entrance, a new cave had been dug out - that was supposed to be the new medicine den, but even Mothwing was hesitant of going in there, because of the rumors that Reedwhisker's mutilated body had been buried in there. Currently, the "real" medicine den was functioning outside of camp. I shook my head, disappointed at the state of the camp. I still remembered the golden days of Crookedstar, when cats' bellies were full and the greenleaf evenings were lazy.

This greenleaf couldn't be more different.

The predawn mist shimmered faintly in the growing light. I fidgeted impatiently, waiting for Greywing to go out on her customary morning run. Why was she taking this long? What if she didn't even come out at all? What if I missed my chance, and it would be my own head displayed outside of Minnowstar's den, instead of hers?

A faint rustling told me that something was approaching. I stiffened and pricked my ears, straining to hear. Yes, it sounded like the thudding of paws. For the hundredth time in the last five minutes, I sniffed the air, but the air was as still as ever; no new scents reached my nose, even though there was undoubtedly a cat coming closer and closer, its paws thrumming on the moist soil.

Wait, no... a sweet tang of honey, permeating the air. I sniffed again, but only caught a disappearing trace of it before it was gone.

Was that Greywing?

My tail trembled with ill-suppressed anxiety, mixed with the customary excitement that came before I went in for the kill. It repulsed me, most of the time, but when I allowed the lust for blood to take over with it... well, there was a reason I hadn't yet failed a single assignment.

"Can't catch me!"

I froze in shock, recognising the voice immediately. It was Pouncetail! Minnowstar's mate... well, okay, forced mating partner for heirs... but what was he doing out here? Wasn't he supposed to be in Minnowstar's den for the night?

"Oh, yes I can!" And that was unmistakably Greywing. My paws went cold, and I realised that I'd have to commit two murders this morning, not one. It wouldn't do for anyone else to know that Minnnowstar's mysterious assassin was me.

I listened carefully, judging exactly when Pouncetail would shoot past my hiding place - he was clearly in the lead, as his voice was much closer. A quick slice to the neck... he wouldn't feel a thing...

Rustling. Pawsteps. Shrieks of laughter.

I closed my eyes, prayed to our forgotten ancestors.

And I lunged.

Pouncetail barely had time to call out - I was already on top of him, my deadly claws slicing at his tender flesh. I didn't let myself get lost in the moment, though; the main murder was still waiting. I quickly twisted around Pouncetail's limp body so that the blood from the death wound gushed onto the place where I knew Greywing would pass, seconds later... she'd slip up and -

"Pouncetail? Where are - AAAH!"

Greywing shrieked as the dead tom's body came into view. At the exact same moment, she slipped in the pool of blood, and I dropped the corpse and leapt at her. To my surprise, she gave me some resistance - feebly clawing at my stomach fur as I tried to press her down so that I could give her a clean wound. Minnowstar hated when their heads or faces were damaged, as they were deemed too ugly for display.

After a few intense seconds of struggling, I managed to snap my jaws closed around her throat. I tasted blood, and bile rose up in my throat as the hungry, insatiable, murderous side of me longed to swallow some of the hot liquid. I spit it out and stepped back, watching as Greywing's lovely, downy fur was soaked with red, and as her pretty blue eyes grew wide with terror when she realised what was happening.

"M-M-Misty... Mistyfoot..." she whispered. "Please... w-why..."

I ignored her plea and turned away, a lump growing in my throat, as I listened to her gasp once before finally lying still. Horrible guilt welled up inside of me, but I pushed it down, hardening my already icy-cold heart.

The scent of honey wreathed around me again, as if an invisible cat's pelt had brushed against mine, leaving its faint scent.

I was only surviving, after all.