Bound to Stars

Chapter 10 || Killer Claws

The fur on his back began to spike up when Batchaser realized what Shellstar was saying. A fight to the death—with one of the strongest WindClan leaders of all time.

⠀⠀If I was killed by Paleheart, how can I defeat Shellstar?

⠀⠀“Well, why do you need to fight him?” a cat in the crowd spoke up.

⠀⠀Shellstar looked surprised. “Oh! I forgot to explain! Batchaser here was the one that sent the fake prophecy! That’s why the Clans are being destroyed!” He let out a loud, sarcastic purr.

⠀⠀Immediately, angry yowls rose up from the group. Cats began to make their way toward Batchaser–most likely to try and kill him–but Shellstar stopped them. “Now, don’t be unfair!” The other cats growled but stepped back at the former WindClanner’s words, glaring at the black tom. Batchaser didn’t move.

⠀⠀“So...” Shellstar met the eyes of every cat standing around him. “Since you all know how great of a fighter I am, we should take a vote. Do I kill him, or... do one of you?” Every feline was quiet. “If you vote for yourself, then you have to make sure to kill him now. If not, he’ll be in StarClan, and, well, we don’t want that, do we?”

⠀⠀Batchaser snorted. “Wounds in StarClan disappear, idiot.”

⠀⠀Shellstar rolled his eyes. “You’re the idiot, Batchase. We’re standing in the very place it’s actually allowed to hurt another cat!”

⠀⠀The black tom twitched an ear as he looked around, noticing the rise in the ground. It did make sense...

⠀⠀“So, fine. Since no one seems to be voting for themselves, it’s you against me?” Batchaser inquired, not bothering to correct Shellstar on his name.

⠀⠀The white tom looked around. “So, I’ll kill him, then?”

⠀⠀A lump formed in the former ShadowClanner’s throat. He would have to fight Shellstar– to the death. Would he really be able to do that? And everyone else was watching...

⠀⠀The group of cats slowly nodded. Galewhisker and Jackalstar stood and watched. Batchaser instantly grew angry. They’re not going to do anything, are they? His claws slid out, digging into the ground. This was something he would have to face alone.

⠀⠀Shellstar huffed. “Good.” He suddenly threw himself toward Batchaser, bowling him over. The black tom was shocked for a few seconds until he managed to realize what was going on, snapping his jaws around Shellstar’s shoulder and twisting the older tom off of his body. Shellstar kicked up dust but bounced back on his paws; Batchaser did the same.

⠀⠀Shellstar again leaped for him, but Batchaser was quicker. He rolled out of the way and crashed into the former WindClanner’s side, tearing his claws through fur. Shellstar hissed and smashed the black tom in the head with a loose paw, causing Batchaser to fly back from the impact.

⠀⠀The former warrior gritted his teeth and slammed his body upwards when Shellstar tried to gain control of the battle. He knocked the white tom away, swerving around and sinking his teeth into the WindClanner’s tail. He hissed, twisting in circles until Batchaser had to let go.

⠀⠀The two toms faced each other, walking in slow circles in the middle of the group of cats. The air was tense; everything and everyone was quiet. It was if all of StarClan was holding their breath, waiting to see what the next move between the two rivals would be.

⠀⠀“Come on, now,” Shellstar mocked. “Don’t be a coward--”

⠀⠀Before he could even finish his sentence, Batchaser was racing toward the tom. This time, Shellstar faced the black warrior head-on. The two flung on to each other, Shellstar’s thorn-sharp claws digging into his back. The black tom ignored the pain and tried to force the other cat to the ground, but, Shellstar was already two steps ahead of Batchaser.

⠀⠀The black-striped leader pressed his paw down on Batchaser’s shoulder, forcing him to the ground. The black tom reared back but Shellstar wrapped his jaws around his neck, a snarl wrenching from his throat. Batchaser yowled in pain and had a flashback of Paleheart; the stupid tom, slicing open his throat and letting the blood flow out.

⠀⠀I won’t let that happen again, Batchaser told himself. Determination surged through his body, causing the tom to throw Shellstar off with such force the leader didn’t stand for a long time. Batchaser was back on him, teeth enclosed around his throat. Shellstar gasped in pain, blood welling from his wounds.

⠀⠀However, Batchaser didn’t crush his throat.

⠀⠀Instead, he narrowed his eyes. “Do you give up?” he snarled through a mouthful of Shellstar’s fur. When there was no response, Batchaser bit down harder. ”Do you give up?” he spat.

⠀⠀“Y-Yes.” Shellstar flopped to the ground, wheezing heavily. Jackalstar’s eyes widened, Galewhisker looking unemotional as usual.

⠀⠀Batchaser looked around the cats, bowing his head. “Look-- I-- I know what I did was wrong. I know I sent a fake prophecy, but... but I remember who killed me.”

⠀⠀Gasps came from the group. “What? But that’s impossible!” cats spoke up.

⠀⠀Batchaser shook his head. “It’s not. And he killed me so... mercilessly. I never wanted to destroy the Clans. I just... wanted for him to suffer through what I did.”

⠀⠀Cats began to open their mouths to respond until they stared in shock at something behind Batchaser. The black tom’s ears lifted and he whipped around, yowling in shock when Shellstar slammed him into the ground. The white tom began to smash a rock to the warrior’s head. “This will never be over!” he growled. “You ruined the Clans! You deserve to die!”

⠀⠀Batchaser couldn’t fight back. The rock rattled his head. It felt as if everything in his head was spilling out. Black spots danced over his vision, close to covering them. He couldn’t even speak.

⠀⠀“Shellstar! You gave up!” Jackalstar exclaimed, her voice growing louder as she ran over to the two.

⠀⠀The white tom turned and chunked the rock at Jackalstar. She gasped and ducked, barely missing. Cats in the group leapt out of the way. Shellstar whirled back to Batchaser and slammed his head into the ground repeatedly.

⠀⠀Blood splattered on the ground. Shellstar’s paws were covered in the crimson-red liquid, his eyes looking dark, unwelcoming and cold; something Batchaser had never seen in the usually calm and almost stupid tom.

⠀⠀It looked like everyone hid something behind a mask.

⠀⠀Batchaser wheezed heavily, trying to breathe. His head dropped, his jaws quivering. The tom coughed up clots of blood and curled in a ball, trying to ease the pain. Shellstar watched with a smirk.

⠀⠀The last thing Batchaser saw that day was a dark, cloudy sky above his head, the storm growing even heavier as his life slipped away from. Then, everything turned black.

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