Chapter 11 || The Forgotten Eternity
Batchaser awoke with a start. His blue eyes snapped open, his fur fluffing out as he jumped to his paws. The black tom gasped in agony, crumpling to the ground when pain struck him in his head like lightning bolts. He gritted his teeth as he placed his paw on his forehead, flinching from the thrumming headache. He noticed smeared blood all over his body, wincing as he examined his other side.
⠀⠀I still have wounds from my fight with Shellstar...
⠀⠀Then, it struck him. He was alive! He smiled widely but quickly returned back to his normal facade, narrowing his blue eyes. But... I died. I remember it. So where am I?
⠀⠀But what if he hadn’t died and was still in StarClan? Batchaser would honestly be ecstatic; he truly didn’t want to disappear forever. Unless I’ve been reincarnated?
⠀⠀He shook his head. No, I would be a kit... and I wouldn’t have my wounds.
⠀⠀So, if he hadn’t been reincarnated then he had to still be in StarClan. But who saved me?
⠀⠀Batchaser just began to notice the looming forest trees around him. He furrowed his brows and stood up slowly, forcing the pain down as much as he possibly could. His eyes flickered from side to side as he made his way through a winding dirt path, hoping it lead somewhere.
⠀⠀Maybe it was Jackalstar, he thought. She did try and help me right before Shellstar... smashed my head in with a rock and then slammed my head into the ground several times. A growl wrenched from his throat, but he forced himself to think of something else.
⠀⠀For some reason, this place didn’t seem like StarClan. It gave him an uneasy feeling, like a stone was lodged in his stomach, pulling him to the ground below. His ears flicked back in discomfort. Batchaser raised his gaze to the sky but could hardly make out anything past the towering trees. He did, however, see specks of gray. That was odd... StarClan had been a much darker gray, like a storm was coming. This was simply... clouds.
⠀⠀“Hello?” Batchaser couldn’t stop the stupid question from leaving his jaws. He just wanted to be found, no matter how embarrassing it was, and someone had to be around to give him a helping paw. Right?
⠀⠀After a long moment of silence the black tom came to the conclusion that no one was near, and even if they were they certainly wouldn’t be helping him. A shiver crept down his spine. What if he was in the Dark Forest? Was that even possible?
⠀⠀Swallowing back the lump in his throat, Batchaser forced himself to stand back to his paws. His muscles ached, his limbs feeling like they were about to snap in half. The black tom gritted his teeth and held back a screech of pain, tears watering in the sides of his eyes. But he realized he couldn’t act like a little kit and stopped himself from showing any more signs of anguish.
⠀⠀The former ShadowClanner managed to make it to his paws, black spots edging his vision. He felt like he was going to faint, honestly. Batchaser ducked his head and screwed his eyes shut, taking in deep breaths to try and calm himself down. He could do this. He could do this. He could do this.
⠀⠀“Just w-walk forward, you lazy lump,” he grumbled to himself, blue eyes narrowing as he took a shaky step forward. Pain rocketed through his body and he almost fell back down, but luckily was balanced enough on his paws to where that didn’t happen. Batchaser moved his other paws, suddenly wishing he was actually dead instead of having to endure this pain. Wouldn’t that be nice.
⠀⠀The former warrior followed a dirt trail in the forest, tail whipping behind him as he walked. Batchaser was slowly gaining speed, and when he told himself, The pain isn’t real, it’s all in your head, it actually seemed to help. The trees eventually began to clear out to reveal a moor much like the one in StarClan. However, dead trees and bushes were clumped in several parts of the flat land, flowers dipping downward as the life was taken from them. Batchaser emerged from the foliage, taking in the scenery with more care. Dead grass, dead plants, dead trees... he looked up to the sky and almost staggered back in shock, eyes widening to the size of full moons.
⠀⠀Sheets of gray clouds covered the blue above, darkening the ground with every layer it added on. A shape was behind the clouds, and when it finally emerged, its colors were revealed: a blood-red sun hung in sky.
⠀⠀A BLOOD-RED SUN IS IN THE SKY. WHAT IN STA-- WHAT IS GOING ON?
⠀⠀Batchaser felt like throwing up. He pushed himself to look away, his lip curling as tears once again welled in his eyes. For once in his life, Batchaser was scared. He was lost. He didn’t know what to do... he felt more alone than he ever had before, even after Lynxbite died. At least then he’d had ShadowClan to fight for; now, did he even have anything?
⠀⠀You are so stupid and so horrible and just complete dung brain! No wonder I’m here I completely deserve this torture for what I’ve done I’m so sorry mother, father, brother, Lynxbite, my—
⠀⠀A scream suddenly wrenched from Batchaser’s throat as a heavy body was thrown against him. His body felt like it had been stung by hundreds of wasps and he writhed in agony, jaws cracking open as another pained yowl filled the air. He tried to curl into a ball but the cat above clearly wasn’t going to let him. It was some sort of cream feline, discolored and cold eyes staring into his soul. Batchaser began to cry. Kill me! Kill me! Kill me!
⠀⠀“Hm, and I thought I was pathetic.” The cat above him ticked its claws, curling its lip in disgust. “Just wait, you stupid maggot. You’re really going to want to be dead after what I do to you.”