Chapter 2

That night, the BloodClan cats gathered in a large clearing. The sun was sinking, leaving a bloody trail. This was a sacred time for the BloodClan cats, a time when the spirits of their ancestors were closer to them.

Claw jumped onto a tree stump. “Tonight, we are here for endings and beginnings. Blood will be spilled.”

“Blood!” “Blood!” the Clan yowled.

“Bring out the tom tributes,” Claw ordered.

Frost nudged forward the three toms. Blaze exchanged a look with Adder. This was the moment they had been waiting for.

“You must now pass the Trial,” Claw meowed, his eyes gleaming. “If you prove you are strong enough, you will be granted the honor of joining BloodClan. If you fail, you will be killed.”

The kits widened their eyes.

“You must get to the Bonetree,” Claw meowed. “It is a tree without leaves that is almost white like bone. It is a sacred place for BloodClan, because it is where the spirits of our ancestors can be heard most clearly. We leave offerings there for our ancestors. If they want you to join BloodClan, they will guide you. I will give you until sunrise before I send out my warriors after you. And don’t think about trying to run away. I have guards posted on the borders.”

Blaze smirked as he saw the toms’ looks turn to panic when they saw how little time they had. BloodClan territory was large, and the moon was already full overhead.

“Where is the Bonetree?” one of the toms piped up.

A malicious gleam came into Claw’s eyes. “If I told you that, it wouldn’t really be a Trial. Now go! Run! And pray that the spirits of BloodClan will be with you.”

The toms backed away slowly, as if they couldn’t really believe they could leave. When no cat made any move toward them, they fled.

“I don’t think the CloudClan tom will make it,” Ember meowed scathingly.

Blaze nodded at his sister. “He was trembling during the entire Ceremony!”

“A true BloodClan warrior doesn’t show fear,” Adder agreed.

“I can’t wait for the Chase,” Ember hissed.

BloodClan she-cats were just like toms; they fought unless they chose to have kits. The she-cat tributes did all the menial work like cleaning out the dens.

Blaze clawed the ground impatiently. He couldn’t wait to show those weaklings what it meant to be a true BloodClan warrior!

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