Silverkit rushed outside to play with Spottedpaw. It was moonhigh, and Silverkit should not have been outside. Dark shadows flitted across the ground as she padded outside. “Spottedpaw?” she called. No answer. Suddenly, a shadow fell over the gray kit, and then a hawk’s talon was grasping her, and she was lifted off the ground and to treetop height. She began to cry in terror. Suddenly, there was Spottedpaw, clinging onto the hawk’s wing. “Come on, you need to jump! There is a bush you can land in!” Silverkit was falling. She missed the bush, and suddenly wind was rushing under her. She began to run, in bounds like a cheetah. She landed safely, and ran off to the nursery, where her sister Brookkit and her mother Raincloud were. Raincloud told her how naughty she had been, going outside. “Kits stay in the nursery until they are apprenticed! Hawks can easily take young kits. If Spottedpaw wasn’t with you, you would be hawk food!” Silverkit hung her head and curled up next to her sister. In the morning, there was a yowl from Lightstar; “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting!” Silverkit and Brookkit were taken down and sat on either side of their mother. Lightstar began. “Silverkit and Brookkit have reached their sixth moon and are now ready to become apprentices. Silverkit, come forward.” Silverkit shakily stepped forward. “Silverkit, from this moment on you will be known as Silverpaw. Your mentor will be Sycamoreleaf.” Silverpaw touched noses with her new mentor and they walked out of the circle. “Brookkit, come. Brookkit, from this moment on you will be known as Brookpaw. Your mentor will be Moonshine.” Brookpaw did the same as Silverpaw. She came to stand by Silverpaw. “We’re apprentices!” she purred. Silverpaw lashed her tail. “I can’t wait to sleep in the TwilightClan apprentice den! Spottedpaw says it’s in a tree, like the warrior den! I hate the cave where the nursery is, it’s so damp.” “Come on, you two!” mewed Sycamoreleaf. “You’re coming with us to see the territory.” As they walked, Sycamoreleaf jerked her head towards some rocks. “You see the cave? Just a short walk away is Highstones. Mapleleaf and his apprentice Cobwebpaw went there last half moon, when he was made a medicine cat apprentice, in the sight of StarClan.” “Yes.” meowed Moonshine. “When Lightstar loses her ninth life, which is not long now, as she is very old, the deputy will travel here. In the other Clans, they must take travelling herbs, but we are lucky. We are right by it; it is just a short walk. It is good for our leaders, because they may not eat anything before speaking with StarClan. There is a tiny stream here, and that is the mountains, there, on the border. You can get so close, you can feel the cold wind, I sometimes say. Across the Thunderpath, is ShadowClan territory. On no account are you to cross it, unless Lightstar must speak with them. Across the other Thunderpath is WindClan. The same rules apply. No going in. Do you understand? Lightstar will not appreciate you being dragged into the camp by very big, horrible WindClan warriors.” There was a gleam of amusement in Moonshine’s eyes. “Seriously, she will not like it. It has happened before. She was not pleased!” Suddenly a huge thing hurtled past. Silverpaw leapt back with a terrified yowl, and Brookpaw fled. “What was that?” she spat. “I’ll claw its fur off!” “You don’t even know how to claw off fur, and that was a monster. Another reason why you do not cross the Thunderpath. If you were to be walking across the Thunderpath when one came, StarClan forbid, you would be joining StarClan, or lose a leg, or the use of a leg. A cat in ThunderClan, Cinderpelt, has lost the use of her hind leg following an accident involving a monster.” Silverpaw shivered. She could just see a cat’s body lying broken on the Thunderpath, streams of red coming away from where it lay. “Here is one of the best places to hunt prey, a small wood. There are squ… Silverpaw had just leapt for a squirrel. It leapt for a tree, but Silverpaw was far too fast, and killed it with one blow of her paw. “Well done!” mewed Moonshine. “Sycamoreleaf, your apprentice has just caught her first prey. I know Riverpool loves squirrel. I know she’d like your prey. Brookpaw, Downstream likes vole. Can you scent any? Brookpaw and Silverpaw had once seen Spottedpaw hunt a mouse, so she had a good idea of how to catch them. She could smell vole. She could see it now, a little plump brown shape, scuffling in the leaf litter. She crept up on it… and leapt. The vole darted away. Brookpaw yowled in frustration, and lashed out a paw. She had it! She killed it before it could squeak and warn other prey that there was a cat about. “Well done, both of you!” meowed Sycamoreleaf. “We’ll go back to camp, and you can treat the elders to their favourite prey. Come on!” Their heads and tails held high, they set off for camp. They padded to the rocks that sheltered the two elders, Downstream and Riverpool. Riverpool raised her head. “Squirrel!” she purred. “And a lovely plump vole! Downstream, wake up, vole!” Downstream stretched, and looked happily at the prey. “I wouldn’t have woken up for another stringy mouse, but vole!” he purred, taking it in his jaws, and settling down to enjoy his prey. “Would you like your squirrel now, Riverpool?” asked Silverpaw, leaving it by the old she-cat. She looked back, and saw her eating her prey. For once Riverpool wasn’t the grumpy cat she usually was, complaining about damp moss and fleas and ticks. Silverpaw made sure she remembered to catch Riverpool lots of squirrels to stop her being a miserable old grouch. She padded over to the two trees in sight of the camp, so the apprentices and warriors could move quickly to defend the camp if a rival Clan decided to attack. Brookpaw came up beside her. “We have such a large territory, and so much prey, I have never felt so good in my life! Let’s find somewhere to stay the night.” “I can help you with that.” mewed a voice behind them. Silverpaw jumped. “Spottedpaw! You startled me!” “I just wanted to say I know a nice place where you can sleep. Follow me!” Spottedpaw’s sister, Branchpaw watched them. They were heading towards where branches formed a ‘bowl’ perfect for two cats. “He took that nest before I could even see it. He’s been hoping for a pretty she-cat to share it with, and your sister is the obvious choice, with that dark gray fur fading to silver on her chest and paws. You’re pretty too, silver tabby. You two are the spitting image of your parents.” Their mother was the same colour as Silverpaw, and their father, Waveheart, was silver tabby. Brookpaw watched her sister settling in her nest, before going over to a mossy boulder and taking a mouthful. Branchpaw helped, and showed her a fork where three branches met. They packed it with moss. A light gray tom padded up, before leaping into the tree and coming into his nest. They were all within talking distance, and Brookpaw found that the tom who had joined them was Claypaw. He was the third oldest apprentice, and the only one in his litter to survive an outbreak of greencough. Brookpaw thought he was fine to share a tree fork with, as his nest forked off from her branch. She settled down in her nest, and went to sleep. Silverpaw could hear the steady breathing of her friends. Spottedpaw was asleep beside her. She too, entered her dreams. Standing in front of her was a starry silver tabby. “Hello, Silverpaw. I am Willowstar, and I must show you something. Follow me.” Silverpaw padded after her. She knew what was happening. StarClan had sent her a special dream. Willowstar halted by a pool, and began to speak the words of a prophecy. “One cat, born in twilight, will harness the power of the wind coursing through her paws…”
Silverpaw woke up. She felt she should go and tell Mapleleaf about her dream. He may have had the same. When she told him, he nodded. “It is you, I think,” he mewed. “I saw you fall from the hawk. You should not have survived, but while you were falling, something pulled you upright, and you began to run, in the air. What happened? What did you feel? “Well, there was a surge of wind under me that just was so solid it seemed like the ground. So I ran, and just gently touched down.” Mapleleaf nodded. “Definitely you. You must go now; Sycamoreleaf wants you for a hunting patrol.” “Silverpaw!” Sure enough, there was Sycamoreleaf’s voice. She raced towards her. “There you are! You are on hunting patrol with Blazefire, Spottedpaw and I. We will not go to the treeplace; we will be looking around the rocks and across the moor for prey. Most likely we will all be coming back with mice or rabbits. Silverpaw, we are going to the moors, and we may go to the stream. Any fresh-kill you find you must bury beneath the willow tree on the side of the stream that is closest to WindClan.” Silverpaw dashed off in eagerness, followed by the others. She could scent water vole, and a pounce later the creature was dead, and buried beneath the willow tree. Soon, Silverpaw spotted a rabbit, and sprang. She missed, and bounded after it. She soon caught up with the panic stricken rabbit, and killed it. Soon she had her vole and her rabbit, a shrew, and a fat pigeon. Spottedpaw had a magpie and a plump mouse. Their mentors helped them to take their catch to camp. “Well done. Silverpaw, Riverpool is eyeing up the pigeon you have. Would you take that to the elders? Spottedpaw, could you take the magpie you have to the queens, Starlingflight and Sparkfur have both moved in, and they must both have some, otherwise their kits may die.” Both cats dashed off with the prey they had. Riverpool was pleased with her pigeon, and Starlingflight and Sparkfur were happy with their magpie. Silverpaw got the water voles quickly, and came up to the nest to give one to Spottedpaw. “Hi!” she mewed. “Would you like to have some water vole?” Spottedpaw took the proffered vole, and they ate together. “Thank you.” he purred. “That was lovely.” “Did you get told that all the apprentices are going to battle training? Well, you know now. Meet us by the Sky Willow for battle training. Come on!” Silverpaw dashed after him. “Spottedpaw, attack Silverpaw!” instructed Blazefire. Spottedpaw charged. Silverpaw did a high twisting leap and came down with perfect timing on top of Spottedpaw. Brookpaw came to help her sister, and Branchpaw came to help her brother. Silverpaw charged, but at the last minute, veered left, unbalancing Branchpaw and causing her to fall. Soon, battle training was over, and it was time to return to her nest, and maybe, if it rained, bury herself in the moss. She took a mouse for fresh-kill before leaving for her warm nest. It did rain in the night. Silverpaw was forced to bury herself deep in the thick layer of moss. Next morning was the same, and most days were filled with training or apprentice chores. Silverpaw hated the smell of mouse bile and always resented checking the elders for ticks. One morning, she was invited to go on the dawn patrol. Another day, she was stalking a mouse. She dropped into the hunter’s crouch, but stepped on a twig. The mouse darted away. Another frustrating time was when she was stalking a plump pigeon that would have fed half the Clan, when it let out a frantic alarm call and flew away. One day came the best, and worst day of her life. “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting!” Silverpaw padded down, curious to find out what was happening. Then she saw Spottedpaw and Branchpaw in the centre, and realised they were going to have their warrior ceremony. Lightstar began. “I, Lightstar, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the noble ways of the warrior code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Spottedpaw, Branchpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?” “I do.” The two cats answered as one voice. “Then, by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Branchpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Branchfall. StarClan honours your loyalty and your eagerness to learn.” She touched her nose to Branchfall’s head, and Branchfall licked her shoulder. “Spottedpaw, you will be known as Spottedtail. StarClan honours your eagerness to serve the Clan.” Lightstar did the same as she had done to Branchfall, and Spottedtail licked her shoulder. “Spottedtail! Branchfall!” called Silverpaw, before everyone else. The rest of the Clan followed suit. “Spottedtail! Branchfall!” Spottedtail saw Silverpaw after the ceremony. “Silverpaw, I think you might be the right mate for me. You’re the only she-cat in the Clan that I like.” Tonight was full moon. Last Gathering, Lightstar had said no apprentices because of Tigerstar, and she did not change her mind. Spottedtail was invited to go, and he gave Silverpaw a lick on the ear before he went. That night, she invited Brookpaw to have the nest. She could cope better with being on her own, particularly as a half-moon after, Claypaw was given his warrior name, Claystream, and the two sisters were alone. Sparkfur and Starlingflight’s kits were not old enough to become apprentices. One day, Lightstar came back with some interesting and terrible news. They were not going to fight against BloodClan. They had other imminent problems with a band of rogues that were stealing prey. She was prepared, but not for the anxiety she saw, when she saw the other Clans fighting BloodClan. How could they win? Silverpaw lost count of how many rogues they drove away. Then it happened. Some RiverClan cats were bearing a dead body of a cat. A mottled tabby, just like Spottedtail. It was Branchfall. She had not been able to bear seeing the other Clans getting killed, and had gone to the battle on her own, without telling any cat where she was going. A rogue had killed her. They took the body back to camp to keep vigil. Silverpaw sat next to Spottedtail, and tried her best to console him. He and his sister had been very close. However, a happier turn of events happened. A moon later, Sycamoreleaf and Moonshine told them they were ready to become warriors. Silverpaw bounced like an overexcited kit all the way to camp. Then she heard the familiar yowl; “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting!” Silverpaw and Brookpaw raced into the middle of the circle and sat, gazing up at the silhouette on the rock. “I, Lightstar, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on these apprentices. They have trained hard to understand the noble ways of the warrior code, and I commend them to you as warriors in their turn. Silverpaw, Brookpaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to defend this Clan, even at the cost of your life?” “I do.” answered the two she-cats. “Then, by the power of StarClan, I give you your warrior name. Brookpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Brookleaf. StarClan honours your skill and readiness.” They touched noses and licked shoulders. “Silverpaw, from this moment on you will be known as Silverwind. StarClan honours your speed and courage.” Lightstar rested her nose on Silverwind’s head, and Silverwind licked her shoulder. “Silverwind! Brookleaf!” came the yowls from TwilightClan. After the ceremony, Spottedtail gave Silverwind a space in his nest. It wasn’t as good as the old bowl, but it was rather comfortable. However, the branch that stuck up was extremely uncomfortable. Spottedtail helped her get rid of it. Next morning, something happened. A ThunderClan patrol had crossed the border, and was making for the camp. The deputy, Rowanpelt, allowed them to come to the leader’s den after discovering that they wished only to tell Lightstar something important. The second they had gone, Lightstar leapt onto the Highbranch and called for a Clan meeting. “And first, before the bad news, I have a duty to perform. Sparkfur’s kits have reached their sixth moon. Willowkit, come forward. Willowkit, from this moment on you will be known as Willowpaw, and your mentor will be Silverwind, though you are not experienced, you are the best hunter in the Clan. Please pass on these qualities to your apprentice.” Silverwind touched noses with Willowpaw, and they walked out of the circle. Her new apprentice was a pretty black cat, like Sparkfur. Lightstar called the second kit forward, and gave it to Redmist, a senior warrior, to mentor. The third kit was called Streamkit, and she was given to Brookleaf to mentor. Then came the bad news. The other Clans were leaving, but they were staying put. Silverwind did not approve. After the meeting, all three apprentices begged to get taken around the territory. Redmist purred knowingly. “Young apprentices. They are so eager to get all their entire four moons of apprenticeship done in their first day.” Silverwind began by showing Willowpaw the little wood. “See if you three can catch some prey. I caught a squirrel here on my look around. I want your mentors to decide what prey you need to find. Willowpaw, I want you to look for a bird. Pigeons are lovely, and are my favourite fresh-kill, particularly the plump ones.” Brookleaf sent Streampaw off for a squirrel, and Redmist sent her apprentice, Whirlpaw, to look for a vole. Then the mentors settled down to watch their apprentices, and talked about which cat they thought could be their mate. “Spottedtail is my mate and I think I might decide to have kits after Willowpaw’s training has finished.” Brookleaf nodded. “I really like Claystream, but I think he likes Sycamoreleaf. You’re so lucky. You’ve got a mate, who you know loves you, and Redmist has had three litters in her lifetime. If Claystream doesn’t like me, I don’t know how I’ll get another mate.” At that moment, the apprentices came bounding towards them with prey dangling from their jaws. “Whirlpaw. You are disrespecting that fresh-kill by swinging it around by its tail. Hold it correctly. Same to you, Streampaw. Willowpaw, well done. You are the only one who has not followed the others’ silly example.” mewed Redmist. “We will take that fresh-kill to the elders, and then you may eat something. You may not take prey for yourself until you have given the elders the prey you have. Also, apprentices may not eat fresh-kill that they have caught; the prey must be given to the elders and queens. Come on, we have a tour of our territory to do. Can you smell those scents coming from the joining Thunderpaths? That is ShadowClan and WindClan scent. You may even scent the monsters. Do not cross the Thunderpath unless you have permission from a warrior, not another apprentice. Is that clear?” The apprentices nodded. Silverwind looked sorrowful. “They won’t be here much longer. I’m going to miss Gatherings, the other Clans…I must try to persuade Lightstar to let us leave.” Redmist nodded. “She can be stubborn. If it comes to it, we who want to leave may have to leave the Clan. When we go, they’ll miss us, and come.” Silverwind nodded, and gestured with her tail for the apprentices to come. They liked the Sky Willow, and Silverwind showed them how to climb it without falling. When the tour of the territory was done, the apprentices took their prey to the elders and queens. Willowpaw wanted to do something, so Silverwind sent her to check the elders for ticks. Privately, she was glad she would never have to scent mouse bile on her paws. Willowpaw looked miffed, and padded off to check their pelts. There was one tick clinging to Downstream’s pelt, which Willowpaw could crack open easily with her jaws. Silverwind found she was coughing hard. Her apprentice looked concerned. “I think you have whitecough!” Silverwind looked mollified. No! She couldn’t have whitecough! It could turn so easily into greencough. When she reached Mapleleaf’s den, he broke the news that it was already greencough. They had no catmint. Mapleleaf sent Cobwebpaw out to find some. Soon, he came back with some stems in his jaws. He had taken some from the farm across the Thunderpath. That night was half-moon, and Cobwebpaw received his full medicine cat name, Cobwebfur. The medicine cat apprentice was deaf, being white with blue eyes, so his mentor had to use signs to tell him what to do, and when to do it. He was lucky to have not fallen prey to a hawk, like Silverwind almost had. She was still unwell, and had to sleep in the medicine cat den. Luckily, her illness was caught early, and there was not an outbreak. Soon, she was back to normal, and carried on with training her apprentice. Willowpaw was a good fighter, and Silverwind had to work hard not to get knocked over. She was a favourite of the elders, and had many friends inside and outside the Clan, but she had proven her loyalty was to her Clan many times. Then, one day, the other Clans left. The day after, TwilightClan’s old leader changed her mind about staying, and they followed. They finally reached the lake. The other Clans had not expected them to follow, so their arrival was unexpected. Their border with WindClan was the Twoleg path, and their border with RiverClan was the marsh. They had the smallest expanse of territory, but there was lots of prey. Soon, the three apprentices received their warrior names; Willowheart, Streamfall and Whirlpelt. Silverwind discovered she was expecting kits, and moved into the nursery. Mapleleaf predicted she would have three or even four kits. There was no question of whose kits they were. Undoubtedly they were Spottedtail’s kits. Brookleaf also moved in, after realising she was expecting Claystream’s kits. She was the happiest cat in the Clan when she found out he liked her, and she instantly knew they were his kits when Mapleleaf told her she was expecting. One day there was a yowl of: “The kits! They’re coming!” Silverwind was panicked. Where was Mapleleaf? Her kits were coming! Mapleleaf suddenly pushed his way through the bramble screen, flanked by Cobwebfur. Mapleleaf instructed her to push, now, while Spottedtail looked scared for his mate. She gave him a reassuring glance. The first kit was out now, thanks to Mapleleaf’s encouragement. There were still more to come, as queens rarely only have one kit. She pushed harder. Already she was exhausted, and there was still at least one more kit to come. Mapleleaf started to purr, to encourage her not to give up. The second kit was out now, and there were still more. She knew if she grew too tired, she or the kit she was struggling to give birth to would die. The latter was very likely. She had to keep pushing. The third kit was out now. She was going to have four kits. Brookleaf took one kit and began licking. Spottedtail did the same. Cobwebfur did the third kit. Silverwind was still pushing out the final kit. It was out. Giving birth was over. She licked her fourth kit. One kit was a silver tabby, one was tortoiseshell, one was gray like she was, and one was a little tabby. She called the tabby tom Bushkit, the tortoiseshell she-kit Dapplekit, the silver tabby she-kit Flowkit and the gray she-kit Skykit. Soon Brookleaf had her two kits, Pinekit and Steelkit. Silverwind’s kits were five moons when they were born. One moon later, they were Bushpaw, Dapplepaw, Flowpaw and Skypaw. Their mentors were Sparkfur, Rowanpelt, Alderberry and Jaguarflight. One day, something terrible happened. There was an outbreak of greencough. Rowanpelt, the deputy, fell sick, and went to join StarClan. Lightstar was forced to choose a new deputy. She chose Silverwind. Silverwind was brave, loyal, a good hunter and fighter, and she had been a mentor to Willowheart. She also always stood by her leader unless she really did not like her decision, and she had never broken the warrior code. She was a popular choice with the Clan, as they yowled her name many times in congratulation. It was also a good day for Willowheart, as she was chosen to mentor Dapplepaw. Silverwind soon got used to organising the patrols. She chose Sparkfur and Bushpaw to go on the dawn patrol with Starlingflight’s two kits, who were apprentices now, Rubypaw and Racepaw. She led the patrol, marking the borders. She had to call Racepaw back several times, as he lived up to his name and always raced ahead. She chose Sycamoreleaf and Blazefire to go on a hunting patrol, and chose Whirlpelt to lead the patrol. One terrible day, Lightstar caught whitecough. Despite Mapleleaf’s efforts, it turned into greencough, and Lightstar died. Silverwind now had to go with Mapleleaf to the Moonpool. One thing about moving to the lake was that they were not as close to the Moonpool as they had been to the Moonstone. She received her nine lives and her name, Silverstar. Among the cats that gave her a life were Rowanpelt, Lightstar and Willowstar. When she came back to camp, she had to choose a deputy. She already had one in mind. Her mentor, Sycamoreleaf, who was loyal, stuck to the warrior code, was experienced and a senior warrior. She was good at making the right decision, and would back up any decision she made. Before moonhigh Claystream and Snowstorm, the mentors of Racepaw and Rubypaw told her that they were ready to receive their warrior names. At moonhigh she sprang up onto the Highbranch and yowled; “Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey join here beneath the Highbranch for a Clan meeting!” Sleepy cats emerged from their dens. Spottedtail often came to see her, as her mate, but they both missed sleeping together in the fork in the warriors’ den, with its branches that felt so safe. The leader’s den had a tiny stream of water running down cracks in the rocks, so the Clan could come there to drink if anything prevented them from going to the stream a little further on. The leader’s den was simply a small cave that had an entrance cats had to squeeze through, before it widened out into a spacious cave. There was plenty of room for the whole Clan inside. The cats gathered at the Highbranch, as Silverstar began to speak. “I say these words before StarClan, so that the spirits of our ancestors may hear and approve my choice. Sycamoreleaf will be the new deputy of TwilightClan.” It was a popular choice. Yowls of; “Sycamoreleaf!” came from the Clan. Silverstar then gave Racepaw and Rubypaw their warrior names, Rubyshine and Racewind. A moon later, she gave her kits their warrior name, Bushflame, Dapplefur, Flowstream, and Skydance. Soon after, she did the same with her sister’s kits, Steelwave, and Pinedash. Falls could not hurt her, making her a dangerous cat to have on the wrong side.
Silverstar later died in a battle.