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4. When Gifts Fail

By Stormikat

Fantasy / Drama

Past: Fawnfur

Cover Art: Shooting Stars by JinxyWinxy (on Deviant Art)

Here's my attempt at a short story. These are mostly my characters from other stories, but has cats from the Erins.

Summary: The she-cat triplets: Sunstorm, Fawnfur, and Morningsong, daughters of Cinderheart and an unknown tom, were born with strange gifts: Sunstorm saw the future, Fawnfur the past, and Morningsong the present. Sunstorm sees a future of the three of them leading ThunderClan to greatness. But an unfortunate occurrence happens, and now the future Sunstorm expected has changed. With each sister handling the event with anger, acceptance, or denial, who will move on and who will remain in darkness?


Past: Fawnfur

They brought the news back that evening. Sunstorm had died.

I stared at them for the longest time, not comprehending. How? How had this happened?

"Where's Morningsong?" I asked. I was surprised to hear my voice come out so calmly. Inside I was shaking. She'd died? That wasn't possible!

"We met her just outside camp," Millie answered, her eyes lowered. "We told her and she took off. I'm sorry, I don't know where."

"It's okay," I meowed faintly. By now I was looking passed Millie. My mind was on other things, not that Sunstorm had died, but that it had even happened. We'd had a destiny. Sunstorm dying wasn't part of it. She was meant to be leader of ThunderClan.

"The stream just suddenly overflowed," Berrynose was explaining. "It had to be the snow melting up near the Moonpool. Some tree branch came down and knocked her into the water while she was drinking. She had to be unconscious because she just went under. I promise we looked. We followed as far as we could see her. Then Thornclaw said we should wait at the lake. When we got there, we saw her body on the shore. She wasn't breathing."

Berrynose sounded like he was having trouble explaining. A death of a Clanmate wasn't something any cat took lightly. Especially an unexpected death like this. A cat expected death in battle or from other animals, not a suddenly violent stream that was usually calm. I could barely understand it myself. Sunstorm was just gone so abruptly. Just this morning we'd been joking and laughing about how one of these day's she'd have Owlface for her mate. The tom had seen us and looked a bit embarrassed, but proud at the same time that Sunstorm would want him.

"Thank you for telling me," I meowed. My voice was still so dead. It sounded fake as if it were not my own.

"Dovetooth is bringing her body," Berrynose meowed.

I nodded again barely registering what the tom said. I knew that I was one of the first cats to know about this death. Firestar was going to be told soon. He'd come out of his den to announce it to the whole Clan eventually. Cinderheart, our mother, was the third cat to hear about it. I knew I should have gone to comfort her, but I was worried about Morningsong. She must have been taking it hard. She was the one that was supposed to see the present. Why had her gift failed her?

I shook myself. I couldn't think such things. Morningsong had to be beating herself over it. Now I had to make my choice. Was I supposed to go to my only living sister, or go to my mother? My heart was torn. Why had Morningsong run away? Why did she make me the one to chose?

I hadn't realized Millie and Berrynose had left. Not until I heard a cry of anguish did I realize they were no longer beside me but had gone to Firestar's den. I quickly stood up and raced to the warriors' den. My mother was already inside, preparing for sleep. I was the assigned night guard and, other than the evening patrol, was the only cat outside.

When I stuck my head into the den, I saw many cats surrounding Cinderheart. I couldn't tell who'd told her the news. Her gray fur could barely be seen through all the pelts of the other cats that tried to comfort her with licks or whispers of consolidation even though they weren't sure what she was in pain over. I hastily pushed through them to come to my mother's side.

"Cinderheart?" I meowed.

She was gasping for breath now, her eyes tightly closed. It was like she was trying to block out the world.

"Give her space!" I yelled at my Clanmates. They hastily backed off. More than a few anxious looks were sent my way. I usually didn't yell. My voice is usually soft. That was the only way they could tell the difference between me and my sisters. That and the one white spot on my ear.

"Sunstorm?" Cinderheart whispered, her eyes suddenly opening.

"No, Mother," I answered, my voice quieter. I buried my head into her soft fur.

"Oh, Fawnfur," she meowed with a sudden sigh.

"Let's go outside," I told her, pulling away.

She nodded and swiftly left with me. I was glad when the rest of the Clan didn't follow. I couldn't stand their closeness. I knew they meant well, but they just didn't understand!

The chilly newleaf night air hit us as we left the warm warriors' den. It managed to clear my head. It must have cleared Cinderheart's as well because she was calmer now. We went to the fallen tree in the quarry and sat down on it, our pelt's brushing each others. Cinderheart leaned into me.

"She was a good warrior," Cinderheart meowed suddenly. Her voice was full of emotion.

"She was," I nodded. I sensed at this time I needed to keep silent. My mother was going to tell me all the great things she remembered about my sister. In the past I could see it was important for cats to do that to move on with life. I knew at some point I would have to accept my sister's death, but right now it made no sense to me.

"She always loved newleaf," Cinderheart continued. "She loved to watch the butterflies around the flowers. Even as a kit. She was so smart for her age. She wasn't surprised when it started snowing. She seemed to know what it was even when you and Morningsong were shocked. She knew how to catch it on her tongue, how to form pictures in the snow. She was a quick learner as an apprentice. She could even beat Lionblaze, as if she knew all his moves."

Cinderheart had an amused smile on her face. I shared it with her. Only the three of us knew the real reason for that. Sunstorm had seen the future. Of course she could predict the moves of her mentor.

Suddenly Cinderheart sighed. I looked over at her. "I should be the one consoling you, not the other way around."

"Everyone needs to be consoled," I answered calmly. "You mostly at this time."

"What about Morningsong?" Cinderheart asked. Then she got worried. "Where is she?" She looked around as if searching for her other daughter.

"I don't know," I answered. "She was told, but she disappeared. I'm sure she's fine. I do want to go to her, but you need me."

"You should find her," Cinderheart meowed. "I couldn't bare to lose another of you," she whispered.

"Morningsong will be safe," I meowed. At least I hope she would. I felt worried. If one of us had died, would another? My breath caught.

"Oh," Cinderheart moaned.

I realized that two cats were dragging my sister through the tunnel. Her light ginger and brown pelt with the brown spots looked so alive it was hard to imagine that she was doing anything but sleeping. It was only when they placed her down did I see her gray stained white underbelly and the awful gash on her face made from the branch. It had peeled the skin and fur from her face. She really was dead.

I felt my eyes widen as I started at her. I heard my mother start to sob. I turned to her and buried by head in her fur once more. Why did this have to happen!

Eventually I recovered. I felt Cinderheart's head on top of mine. Her breathing was harsh.

"I'll go get Jayfeather," I whispered.

"What for?" Cinderheart asked just as quiet.

"We need thyme," I answered.

I knew the herb would calm us. And we both needed calming at the moment. Finally my mother nodded. I slowly turned away from her. I couldn't even look at my sister's dead body as I walked to the quarry wall. I felt guilt as I left my mother with the body. But I noticed Dovetooth walking to her. Thornclaw went to report to Firestar.

I hurried up the quarry wall, my feet scrambling along the rock. It wasn't very dark because the moon was still mostly full. The Gathering had just been three nights ago. I could remember the fun time my sisters and I had going to our first one as warriors long ago. It had been many moons since then but I could still remember it. It was so strange to think as this Gathering being our last.

I entered the den. I could see Toadheart right away. He was already sleeping. I felt a rush of jealously burst through me. He was in the position I wanted. I was going to be a medicine cat apprentice. Sunstorm had promised I would be.

Once when we were kits, and had discovered our unique gifts of seeing into time, we'd each discovered our role in life. Our destinies. Sunstorm was our help with that. She could see the future. She saw herself with the name of Sunstar. She saw me as her medicine cat and she saw Morningsong as the deputy. Our gifts would help us with our positions. Sunstorm would know how to protect the Clan against coming hardships, Morningsong (who saw present events) would know what the other Clan's were planning to do to us, and I with the gift of past seeing, would know how to care for my Clan. I would have the knowledge of all the past medicine cats of all the Clans. I would be the greatest medicine cat the lake and forest had ever seen.

Sunstorm had told me that one day, Toadheart would become tired of being the medicine cat apprentice. He would realize it wasn't the life for him and that he wanted to be a warrior and wanted to have a mate. He would tell Jayfeather he couldn't manage anymore. Jayfeather would have to take on a new apprentice. Sunstorm told me it would be my choice to ask Jayfeather if I could take the role of the apprentice, or I could continue to be a warrior. I knew in my heart that I would choose the medicine cat.

But now Sunstorm was dead. Her promises and prophesies seemed like nothing now. She'd died, so didn't that mean all she'd said was dead with her? What promise did I have now that I would be the medicine cat and that Toadheart would leave his mentor's side? It suddenly hit me. Sunstorm had been my solid stone that kept me in place and on track. Without her I knew nothing. I didn't know what was going to happen. That worried me.

"Fawnfur?"

I looked up from the black and white tom in his nest. I saw the blind gray tom farther in the den.

"Yes, Jayfeather," I nodded.

"Something happened." It wasn't a question. I knew that he knew. I had seen the past so I knew his gifts. He probably knew mine with his mind reading abilities. We would have made the best team.

"Sunstorm is dead. My mother and I need some thyme."

Jayfeather nodded. He quickly turned away.

I sat down and waited. My shoulders were hunched as I finally wondered what life without Sunstorm would be like.

Just as Jayfeather came back with herbs in his mouth, I heard Firestar call the Clan.

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