Bound to Stars

Chapter 4 || The Star-filled Pool

It felt like the three cats had been walking for moons. Batchaser ducked his head and let out a sigh, trudging up the slope. He noticed that the grass began to disappear, being replace by cold, hard stone. Flicking his ears back, he ran up the hill, bolting past Jackalstar and Galewhisker.

⠀⠀“He’s an idiot,” Batchaser heard Jackalstar growl, her piercing blue-amber eyes not leaving him. The black tom ignored her and looked down into a pool full of glittering water.

⠀⠀His paws wouldn’t move. The tom had never seen something so beautiful. The reflection of the stars shone in the water, causing the tom to look up into the navy sky.

⠀⠀“Hurry it up, you’ve already wasted enough of our time!” Jackalstar spat, lashing her tail. Batchaser gave her an exasperated look and leaped down. He noticed the pawprints of his ancient ancestors, his paws nearly fitting into the shapes.

⠀⠀“What do I do?” Batchaser inquired, looking past the white she-cat and directly at Galewhisker.

⠀⠀Jackalstar let out a wheezing laugh. The gray tom’s whiskers twitched in amusement and he looked down at the pool. “Touch your nose to it. It’s quite easy.”

⠀⠀Jackalstar shoved Batchaser out of the way and bent down, her nose touching the water. Galewhisker flicked his tail, crouching down beside the snappy she-cat and doing the same.

⠀⠀The black tom curled his tail. This was it. He was really going to do this. Closing his eyes, Batchaser touched his soft pink nose to the glittering pool of light, gasping as darkness covered his gaze.

⠀⠀When he blinked open his eyes, he was in a large clearing; The Gathering Place, to be exact. His blue eyes sparkled with excitement, his claws flexing with anticipation.

⠀⠀“So, what are you doing here?” Jackalstar asked, jerking Batchaser out of his thoughts. The black tom turned to face her, shrugging.

⠀⠀“I just wanted to check this place out. It’s pretty awesome, you know?” he responded coolly.

⠀⠀The she-cat narrowed her eyes. “Yeah, I know. And you’d know too, if you gave omens and prophecies to your Clan.”

⠀⠀Batchaser rolled his eyes. “Curse my old Clan. They’d never give a rat’s tail for me. I guess I didn’t get along with too many cats.”

⠀⠀“Yeah, I know their pain...” Jackalstar muttered. “Anyway, just choose what Clan you want to go to, and what cat’s dream you want to visit.”

⠀⠀The black tom cocked a brow. “Yeah? And how do I do that...?”

⠀⠀“Just look down.”

⠀⠀“Look down? Why--” When the tom’s eyes flickered down to the ground, he let out a startled gasp and his heart nearly fell out of his chest. Below him were the Clans’ territories, looking like ant’s homes from up here. A wide grin spread across Batchaser’s jaws, excitement flaring through his whole body.

⠀⠀Jackalstar flicked her ear and muttered something, her frame beginning to fade. The blue-eyed tom watched as the white-and-brown she-cat disappeared, a dull light floating down toward WindClan’s territory. Was that her? Batchaser shook his head, looking around for Galewhisker. He’d come too, hadn’t he?

⠀I guess he left before I even arrived. Didn’t really care much for conversation with me. Eh. Can’t blame him, I guess. The black tom turned his attention toward ThunderClan’s territory, intrigued that he could see their camp like he was a cloud. Could his Clanmates see him? Was he a bright shining star in the sky right now?

⠀⠀Batchaser narrowed his eyes. Jackalstar had told him to choose a Clan, but how did he get there? “This probably won’t work, but... ThunderClan?” The black tom shook his head, but let out a gasp as he slowly began to drift from the sky toward their territory. His eyes widened and he let out a gleeful yowl, but it only echoed in his ears. He wondered if he looked like the light he’d seen when Jackalstar had gone to WindClan. Possibly.

⠀⠀The black tom eventually reached the camp, seeming to return to his cat form. He pricked his ears in interest at the layers of rock that surrounded him. He’d never actually been in or seen ThunderClan’s camp. It was interesting. Batchaser picked out the closest den to what seemed to be the leader’s, sticking his head in and flicking his skinny tail.

⠀⠀He noticed many large cats sleeping, proud of himself for being able to guess the warriors’ den so quickly. He narrowed his eyes, trying to find a familiar pale brown pelt. The black tom eventually found Paleheart’s nest, staring down at this horrible, cold-hearted tom. The tom that had killed him. Had ruined his life. All Batchaser wanted to do was slash his claws across his throat, but he couldn’t kill him in his sleep.

⠀⠀Shaking his head, Batchaser tentatively placed his paw on Paleheart, gasping as darkness again surrounded his vision. His eyes snapped open, fur prickling in annoyance when he heard the ThunderClan warrior’s shrill call. “Hello? Is anyone here? Hello?”

⠀⠀Rolling his blue eyes, Batchaser stepped out of the darkness, trying to appear as ominous as possible. Paleheart gasped, his eyes landing on the ShadowClan warrior he had killed.

⠀⠀Immediately, the pale brown tom fell to the ground, beginning to let out heavy sobs. “I’m sorry, Batchaser! I didn’t mean it! I was being so stupid! I didn’t want to kill you! But I did! And I feel horrible! You have no idea!! Please, oh, please forgive me!”

⠀⠀Batchaser stared at the tom, looking back up and shaking his head. Did this idiotic ThunderClanner really expect him to give him forgiveness? Whatever. This wasn’t what he was here to do.

⠀⠀“I’m here for something else, actually,” Batchaser meowed, narrowing his eyes as he stared down at Paleheart. The brown tom stood to his paws, eyes wide as moons. “I’m here to give you a prophecy.”

⠀⠀“M--Me?” Paleheart choked out. “But... but I killed you! I don’t deserve to receive a prophecy!”

⠀⠀Yes, you! Do you see anyone else here?

⠀⠀Batchaser pushed away his irritation and nodded. “Yes. Listen closely, Paleheart, and don’t forget it.” He paused, hoping to add suspense. “The delicate feather will be caught in the flames of fury, and the thunderous clouds will fall under past mistakes.”

⠀⠀Paleheart’s eyes widened. Batchaser had a hard time forcing himself not to smirk. His mate, Featherpelt, is sure to be the first to come to mind. Gingerflame, his deputy, will come next. The thundering clouds obviously means ThunderClan, and past mistakes means Paleheart’s slip-up for killing me.

⠀⠀Of course, it was rat crap. None of that was real, and it’s not like it was going to come true. But Paleheart didn’t know that. He’d probably make the error of telling his Clan the prophecy, and get paranoid for his mate’s safety. Then, if Doestar finds out that Paleheart killed a ShadowClan warrior, he’s sure to make a connection between he and Gingerflame, since their deputy is the only cat in the Clan with a fire-related name. At least, I’m guessing that’s what will happen. I hope. I’ll ruin Paleheart’s perfect little life, and he’ll forever regret murdering me in cold blood.

⠀⠀“What does it mean??” Paleheart asked. “I need to know!”

⠀⠀Batchaser was quiet, staring at the pale brown tom and beginning to disappear on purpose. The brown tom let out a screech of fear, demanding the former ShadowClan warrior to tell him what the prophecy meant, but he didn’t.

⠀⠀And as Batchaser faded from the ThunderClanner’s dream, he left Paleheart in a state of paranoia, stress, and anxiety.

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