I awoke when the sky was grey with the first light of dawn. The first thing that I noticed was that my fur was wet; the second, that the ravens were gone. I stood and shook myself off, trying not to think of the gruesome murders I had no memory of committing.
What to do now? Run away, again? The thought made me pause. I knew of many places I could go to hide away, live out the rest of my miserable days... alone, depressed, with no company, as any sensible cat would chase me out. Not exactly the life an aging she-cat would hope for.
My other alternative was to... dare I think it?... to end my life. A cold shiver went through me as I stared, unseeingly, ahead of me, contemplating suicide. But did I really want to do that? To end any chance for redemption?
There's nothing you have to live for, a little voice inside me said. It sounded eerily like Spider's cool mew. You might as well join the stars that you don't believe in.
But it isn't too late to try again, I argued with myself. Is it?
Yes, is it? The voice echoed. You are old, and unlikely to change your ways. Besides, murdering has left its mark on you. Look at how fast the Tribe identified you as a killer. No cat would take you in.
It's worth a try, though...
It isn't. Give up. Just go die, so you don't have to suffer anymore.
But I don't want to die! My instincts rebelled against the thought of ending myself, of stopping my heart, of never feeling the grass or the wind or the juicy meat of prey in my jaws...
Speaking of prey, I was hungry.
I shook out my lank fur again - noting, with little concern, that it was falling out in places - and set off with an ambling gait over the hills. Who knew, maybe I'd wander over to some fat mouse and sit on it until it died. Or maybe I'd take a tumble off a cliff. At this point, either one was fine for me.
The sun was well in the sky by the time I found a sick vole, stumbling around next to a small creek. I quickly ended its life and devoured the flesh in a few gulps, not caring that the meat might make me sick, too. My orientation was pretty messed up, but I was pretty sure that I was close to a mountain where StoneClan lived. Yes, there - the icy cap glinted in the distance, as I squinted at it. My eyesight wasn't that great either, but I could get there by nightfall, I thought. Well, best to start now.
Peace at last.
I scrambled onto what must have been the hundredth ledge, trying not to look down at the dizzying drop below me.
No cats in sight, the wind whistling all around me, grey stone and black sky - I'd never seen anything more beautiful.
It must be close to morning now. I slept on a random ledge for a few hours, but soon woke to resume my journey to nowhere. My five hundredth ledge loomed up above me, and I jumped up, drawing on my last reserves of strength. My tongue was dry and my fur was matted and my paws left smears of blood like roses blooming on the rough stone.
An eagle screeched somewhere above me. Startled, I slipped, and immediately righted myself so that I flew with my legs spread out. I closed my watering eyes instinctively, feeling strangely soothed as the faint gurgling of the river at the bottom of the canyon grew louder and louder. Oh, how pleasant would be the ending of my miserable existence.
And stars, icy stars, were all I saw forevermore.
A/N: Thank you so, so much for reading, everyone! I hope you enjoyed my story!