The Third Messenger

Chapter 4

A/N: Hi guys, MAJOR apologies for such a long update. It's been like 5+ weeks since my last update. I don't even have an excuse for not updating in such a long time.. I'm sorry for the super long wait :(

Also, and important, I am thinking I'm gonna go on a hiatus. My writing is worse and worse for every book and chapter that I update, and I think if I keep writing under this kind of stress, I'm gonna just drop everything like I did on three of my stories already. But I'm really trying to fight it and not let that happen. Updates will be extremely slow. I'm not even sure I'll be able to keep up with all my stories and my beta and stuff.

Speaking of stuff, I registered as a beta reader. If you need someone to beta your story, don't be afraid to ask me! I won't bite! Just be sure to read my beta profile to see what I beta for!

Well.. anyway, enjoy chapter five(i think) An author's note is at the end of the story to explain some things as well as the wait, but DON'T you DARE skip this chapter to read it.

"These are cats you will learn to cooperate with," Mistyspirit meowed. "You will have to learn to like each other- or not like each other- and deal with it. You will become the next Messenger when I think you are ready, Hawkpaw. Any mistakes will cause you to fall from your current place, and you must keep climbing."

Hawkpaw tilted her head to one side. "What do you mean?"

Mistyspirit halted. "About what?" she asked a little too harshly.

"The first thing you said about cats I need to cooperate with," Hawkpaw meowed.

Mistyspirit narrowed her eyes. "Yes, those are other cats you will meet. They are training to be Messengers like you. Very few will make it, which is why choices of the future Messengers are made carefully. I wish to introduce you to them, although you will encounter them little."

"What about-"

"I know." Mistyspirit paused. "Are you ready to come?" she mewed bluntly. "If you're not, we can just wait here."

Hawkpaw shifted her paws. Mistyspirit had told her what Hawkpaw asked her. But some of the things she had heard just didn't make sense. The next messenger? Falling from her current place? What did Mistyspirit mean? She swallowed. "Yes. Yes, I'm ready."

"Good," Mistyspirit meowed. "Come with me."

Her pelt prickling with confusion, Hawkpaw followed her mentor into the Unknown.

"These are your fellow Messengers," Mistyspirit meowed. "Treat them with respect. You are never alone Hawkpaw, but you will never have them to back you out of trouble."

Hawkpaw nodded. "So, what would I want to know them for?"

"Think about it, Hawkpaw. For your life as the future Messenger depends on it."

Hawkpaw started at the gray tabby, for the moment not knowing why. Her current life apprenticed to a Messenger was confusing- and yet, she had to admit, exciting. "You can show me now," she meowed. Mistyspirit stared at her for a moment.

"Learn fast, young Hawkpaw. You must in order to move on."

"Okay," Hawkpaw meowed, giving an impatient bounce. "Come on! I've been waiting forever!"

Mistyspirit snorted and began to lead Hawkpaw in the opposite direction of the two cats. Hawkpaw was confused but she didn't question her mentor.

"Another thing you must learn is patience," she meowed. "I will do as I said tomorrow, but today you will come with me to visit OceanClan."

"Why?" Hawkpaw asked. Mistyspirit's eyes narrowed.

"Hawkpaw?" she mewed, "do you remember what happened when I brought you here?"

The black she-cat blinked in confusion. Of course she remembered meeting Mistyspirit. "Yes. You were in some place when you brought me here.." She paused.

Mistyspirit blinked. "No, before," she stated as her eyes flashed, darting around as if she wanted to hurry.

"Oh.." Hawkpaw scuffed her paws nervously. "I.. That black cat bit my neck.. I think."Mistyspirit nodded approvingly.

"Correct, now I will tell you. The same thing is about to be done in OceanClan territory. We must hurry." Hawkpaw stared blankly around as the terrain changed from nothingness to a sandy area which ended in what looked like a great body of water. A dark gray figure circled another, her eyes narrowed, claws unsheathed. The younger cat took a step back. A new warrior, Hawkpaw guessed.

"A warrior?" she almost squeaked. "That's not fair! It's.."

Mistyspirit nodded, her eyes full of sympathy and compassion. "I know Hawkpaw. But Messengers are unable to change it."

Hawkpaw nodded; her vision blurred for a moment as she remembered that Mistyspirit had told her that this was not a job to be proud of. "Okay," she mewed in a whisper. "I can do it."

Her gray-furred mentor looked at her strangely. "You have a lot of courage for one so small. Use it wisely," she meowed.

Hawkpaw looked around at the sandy bank. There was a sharp tang in the air, filling her nose, and she sneezed, then glanced at her mentor. The surroundings felt real enough.

"Are you sure they can't see us?" Hawkpaw mewed. Mistyspirit shook her head.

"As far as they are concerned, we don't exist." She flicked her tail at the crouched tomcat as the she-cat advanced forward. Her voice remained steady, although her eyes have away everything. Hawkpaw focused on the two.

"… I'm sorry Thistlefang,but if you live any longer, my chances of being chosen as deputy are nothing!" the she-cat snarled as she advanced on the cowering tomcat.

"Stormwing, you don't have to do this.. We trained together.." The tomcat trailed off as she leaped at him, bowling him over.

"I'm not letting them know it was me!" Stormwing hissed. Thistlefang struggled as she dragged him towards the water- and it was then that Hawkpaw realized what Stormwing was going to do.

"That's horrible," Hawkpaw whispered, suddenly thankful for her quick death. Her mentor paused for a moment as the tom struggled against Stormwing.

Stormwing gripped tte tom by his scruff and shocked him into the water, holding him down.

"Wasn't even fun knowing you," she sneered. "Have fun dreaming. About the job you never had." Thistlefang tried to get air to breathe,but the she-cat Held him down tight.

Hawkpaw gasped as the she-cat shoved Thistlefang deeper beneath the water. The tom let out his last breath..and Hawkpaw watched his body as it stopped moving forever..

A/N:Sorry for the amazingly boring chapter, but it had to be done! How will Hawkpaw cope having seen a murder being committed? What will happen?

I wouldn't be surprised if I lost you all during my two-month hiatus. :(

Oh, and my very slow updates probably aren't going to quit, so could you guys please review? I won't be greedy... maybe 25-27 reviews before we get to the next chapter? Pretty please?

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