AN: So this is sort of a new idea that came to me while reading Unwanted Kits by Jaystorm of NightClan. There will be two points of views, one from the queen and one from the kit. Please remember to review, and tell me what you think. All credit goes to Jaystorm of NightClan for the idea :)
A fine layer of mist covered the forest as night became morning. The birds were singing to one another as early signs of newleaf showed.
Newleaf. It was supposed to be a time of new life, the beginning of something better. But to the Clans of the forest, it was a time of unrest and unease. For every newleaf, one kit from each Clan must be chosen to be sacrificed to StarClan.
It had always been like that since the dawn of the Clans. No cat had questioned StarClan's rules or given them remorse for it. They were afraid of their ancestors, and cowards. And so they followed these rules, simply giving up the ones they cared about most.
Rosefall sighed as she watched her tiny kit play.
Icekit, always the loner, seemed so content being an only sibling. She didn't know what fate fell upon her when it was time for the first Gathering of the season.
While she played with Sunkit, Scorchkit and Petalkit, other cats looked on warily. They all seemed to know that Icekit was already chosen as the Clan's sacrifice. And so no cat spent any time with her, or explained her fate.
"You could at least tell her the stories," Briarleaf, one of Rosefall's best friends, suggested.
"And then what?" Rosefall snapped. "She will know that she is different. She will know that she was chosen to die."
The bitter sorrow that began to churn in Rosefall's heart was overwhelming. Icekit's father didn't even seem to care that she was chosen to die. Whiteclaw seemed oblivious to her as he left on patrols or spoke with other warriors.
A crushing weight of guilt had built up in her chest when Icekit asked who he was one day. Whiteclaw had looked at Icekit as if she was from another world.
In time Icekit began to notice the way her Clanmates treated her. Icekit seemed to understand that something was happening. Something that would change her life forever.
Eventually the time for the Gathering had come. Icekit was almost six moons when newleaf arrived. By now she was old enough to know that she was chosen. She resented the Clan because of it, and was often cold towards her Clanmates.
Rosefall could only watch as Icekit was chosen to go with the Clan at the Gathering. The other kits were wondering why they weren't chosen. Fernstep had simply told them that they should be grateful they weren't chosen. The kits became quieter after that, realizing that Icekit might not return when night came.
"I am sorry Rosefall," meowed an old looking dark gray tom. His yellow eyes were dark with sympathy, but Rosefall knew that he was relieved.
His kits were never chosen. He didn't know what it was like to lose the thing that Rosefall had come to care about for the past ten moons.
"You wouldn't be doing this if you were sorry!" Rosefall snarled when she finally found her voice.
Graystar looked taken aback by her sudden anger. She had been dreading this morning since the first signs of newleaf appeared. Every morning on the first signs of newleaf a Gathering was held. The leaders would chose which kits would be sacrificed. They were never seen again after that. No cat knew where they went, and they didn't dare question their ancestors.
"It is time," Swampfoot, the deputy of DayClan, rasped.
Rosefall simply sighed and looked down at her daughter. Icekit was glaring at the dark brown tabby, aware that this was her last morning in camp.
She picked up Icekit by the scruff and stalked past Whiteclaw, who simply ignored her. She would never again have kits after this. It was too heart-wrenching to know that this would happen. Losing a kit like this was like losing part of her heart.
Icekit didn't bother struggling as the rest of the Clan followed. Time seemed to move slowly as they headed for the clearing where the streams connected into a large river. It was called the Stream Hollow for a reason. But some cats called it a death trap.
Rosefall felt a lump form in her throat when they got closer. This was the last time she would see her kit fighting for a chance to survive. She could tell that Icekit was terrified from how still she had become.
I am sorry, she thought. I wish StarClan wouldn't make us do this.
It felt like moons had passed before they reached the Stream Hollow. NightClan had already arrived, and their leader greeted Graystar warmly.
"It is good to see you, old friend," a pale ginger she-cat known as Specklestar purred.
"And you too, Specklestar," Graystar replied. "These are dark times for the Clans," he added when Icekit was placed beside her mother. Rosefall kept glaring at them as they conversed.
She noticed that the NightClan's chosen kit was a bit larger than Icekit. Sitting beside the kit was a tortoiseshell she-cat, whose amber eyes were dark with worry.
"Stop fumbling around you useless brat!" the queen snapped when her son began pouncing on a branch.
The dark ginger kit flinched when she grabbed him by the tail. Rosefall had to look away with horror when she saw what the queen was doing to her kit.
How could someone treat their own kit like that? she wondered.
It didn't take long for VineClan to arrive. Rosefall made a note that their chosen was around the same size as Icekit. The mother of the kit seemed more reluctant to give up her daughter as she was placed beside Icekit and Rosefall.
"Every newleaf I worry that my kits will be chosen, and this time she was," she whispered. "Poor little Brightkit, why did this have to happen to you?"
"StarClan did this to us," Rosefall hissed without warning. The pale tabby queen looked at her in surprise. "Every newleaf they tell us to give up our kits."
The VineClan queen said nothing to that. In her heart Rosefall knew that she was right. This should not be happening. Icekit was too precious to her, even if she didn't see it.
The last Clan to arrive, WoodClan, was the largest of the four Clans. Rosefall watched as an elegant looking silver tabby placed her kit beside the tortoiseshell queen.
"Aren't you afraid of what will happen?" the pale tabby asked when she placed down a black and gray kit.
"It is for the good of the Clans, is it not?" the silver tabby retorted. "Besides, we have so many kits in the nursery that it is a blessing."
Rosefall's heart clenched with pity when she looked at the small kit. He was glaring at his mother. Like the tortoiseshell queen, the silver tabby seemed to dismissive towards StarClan's rule.
"We are all here," meowed Hazelstar, WoodClan's leader.
"Good, now let us get this done and over with," Sagestar, VineClan's leader, added.
"To the great and powerful StarClan, we give you what you desire most: The beating hearts of flesh and new life," Specklestar yowled to the sky. "These kits were chosen to be sacrificed, so that you may grant us moons of peace until next newleaf."
The dark ginger kit was trembling now as the weight of Specklestar's words hung down on the clearing.
"May these kits have a quick and painless sacrifice," Graystar rasped.
He nodded to Swampfoot, and the dark brown tabby grabbed what appeared to be some kind of raft made of branches and vines. Rosefall swallowed the lump that had formed once more as Icekit was dragged onto the raft. The other kits began to protest as they were placed onto the raft.
The river led to the Mooncave, a place where medicine cats went to communicate with StarClan. Every newleaf the Clans had to watch as their kits were carried off by the river, never to be seen again. Rosefall even wondered if they ended up in StarClan.
Heartbeats later Swampfoot had pushed the raft into the river. Rosefall could see the horror in Icekit's eyes as she clung on to the raft for dear life. The torrent of the river swept the raft down towards the caves, away from the watching Clans.
"May StarClan grant us all peace," Graystar, the oldest of the four leaders, meowed.
Rosefall felt sorrow clench at her heart when she realized that Icekit was gone. Icekit, the kit that had become the center of her life, was no longer with her. And she could do nothing but watch.
( ( Allegiances ) )
Leader: Graystar - old dark gray tom with yellow eyes
Deputy: Swampfoot - dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Medicine Cat: Heatherstorm - gray she-cat with patches of ginger in her fur; has blue eyes
Mossear - white she-cat with ginger-tipped ears
Whiteclaw - black and white tom with amber eyes
Ravenfeather - sleek-furred black tom with green eyes
Ivypelt - light brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Squirrelfang - ginger-brown tom with green eyes
Rosefall - dark gray she-cat with amber eyes
Owlspeck - silver flecked gray tom with amber eyes
Lightningface - light brown tom with streaks of white along his fur and muzzle
Dewstep - mottled gray tom with yellow eyes
Cloudwhisker - silvery gray she-cat with unusually long whiskers
Birchpaw - light brown tom with white paws, nose and tail tip
Kestrelpaw - dark ginger she-cat with green eyes
Sunpaw - pale ginger tom with amber eyes
Scorchpaw - gray tom with yellow eyes
Petalpaw - tortoiseshell she-cat with amber eyes
Briarleaf - white she-cat with gray patches; mother of Ripplekit, Featherkit and Blossomkit by Ravenfeather
Dustwind - light brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Rabbitwhisker - large dark gray tom with yellow eyes; Graystar's brother
Ripplekit - dark gray tom
Featherkit - gray and white she-cat with amber eyes
Blossomkit - gray she-cat with white paws
Leader: Specklestar - old pale ginger she-cat with watery amber eyes
Deputy: Sparrowflight - mottled brown tom with amber eyes
Medicine Cat: Brushtail - dark gray tom with a bushy tail
Blackstripe - gray tom with a darker gray, almost black stripe along his back
Mallowfall - light brown tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Rockstorm - dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Mossfire - ginger she-cat with green eyes
Firepaw - dark ginger she-cat with amber eyes
Pebblepaw - speckled brown tom with amber eyes
Marshwing - pale tabby queen with yellow eyes, mother of Hollykit, Poppykit and Mousekit
Lilytail - pale gray she-cat with amber eyes, mother of Shadekit and Mothkit
Wildstorm - dark gray, almost black tom with yellow eyes
Hollykit - tortoiseshell she-cat with yellow eyes
Poppykit - black she-cat with green eyes
Mousekit - gray-brown tom with yellow eyes
Shadekit - black and gray tom with amber eyes
Mothkit - spotted tabby tom with amber eyes
Leader: Hazelstar - small brown she-cat with amber eyes
Deputy: Harewhisker - gray tabby tom with amber eyes
Medicine Cat: Creekfeather - silver tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Antleg - small black tom with yellow eyes
Duskpool - black and white she-cat with dark blue eyes
Heavystorm - dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Thrushwing - tawny colored tom with amber eyes
Mistcloud - silvery gray-blue she-cat with amber eyes; Creekfeather's sister
Fennelpaw - dark brown tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Timberpaw - light brown tabby tom with amber eyes
Torchpaw - pale ginger tom with green eyes
Pouncepaw - pale gray tom with white legs, tail and muzzle
Morningcloud - very pale gray, almost white she-cat with amber eyes, mother of Snowkit, Frostkit and Thistlekit
Brindlesong - dark tabby she-cat with amber eyes, mother of Cedarkit, Brownkit, Mudkit and Acornkit
Daisytail - white she-cat with patches of gray mixed in her fur
Swiftbreeze - black and white she-cat with amber eyes
Webcloud - dark gray she-cat with amber eyes
Snowkit - white she-cat with amber eyes
Frostkit - pale gray she-cat with amber eyes
Thistlekit - gray and white tom with amber eyes
Cedarkit - light colored tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Brownkit - dark brown tabby tom
Mudkit - light brown tabby she-cat
Acornkit - golden brown tabby tom
Leader: Sagestar - pale gray tom with white underbelly and amber eyes
Deputy: Cherryfoot - lithe ginger she-cat with green eyes
Medicine Cat: Burntwhisker - dark ginger tom with most of his whiskers missing
Birdsong - pale tabby she-cat with amber eyes
Foampelt - pale gray tom with amber eyes
Pantherfoot - large black tom with yellow eyes
Boulderpaw - gray and white tom with yellow eyes
Honeypaw - golden tabby she-cat
Swanflight - white she-cat with a black-tipped tail
Rustfur - dark ginger tom with amber eyes