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Episode One, Season one of Cold. (On WFW)

On the SideEdit

I am Storm. I live on the outskirts of ThunderClan and ShadowClan. It's been leaf-bare for a long time, and I could see that the the leaves were turning red, and were drifting to the ground.

I heard the crunching of leaves and the muttering of cats inside Clan territories. The birds were chirping, singing sad melodies about leaf-bare's coming. All the small animals were scurrying around, gathering little acorns to stock up for leaf-bare. The trees swayed in the strong wind, and my fur rippled around me. Streams that snaked through the forests were icing up, and all the warm seasons were gone.

Stretching, I went off to search for prey. Finding a squirrel circling a maple tree, I dropped into a crouch. Getting it was easy. I dabbed my paw at it, and felt the flimsy skin. The squirrel was skinny, but it was prey.

Gulping it down quickly, I padded to a tree and sharpened my claws. I wonder what the Clans were doing today. Looping towards ShadowClan, I could see them hunting. They must be stocking up prey too.

ThunderClan patrols were re-marking borders, and must of them seem bed-raggled. I swept the fallen leaves with my tail, feeling quite bored.

My mother, Leaf, had been sick with green-cough, and then died. I still mourned for her, as does my sister, Shade. But Shade had gone a little mad, and left our home. Now it was just me living here.

Being a eight moon old she-cat, I wasn't good at hunting. I'm glad that there wasn't much to do but hunt here because if I were to face a fox, I would probably fall.

I thought about all those times Leaf had comforted us, telling us stories about a time called "green-leaf" and a time called "new-leaf". I loved those warm stories, the times when the sun actually gave us warmth. I had a think pelt, as does all the kits born to such weather.

My gray fur fluffed up against the cold wind, and I thought, If only Leaf and Shade were still here. Then life wouldn't be so boring.

Occasionally Shade visited my home, and shared news about incidents.

"There was a huge snowstorm over at the Peaks. I heard many cats were buried in thousands feet of snow. It was a terrible disaster. Rainstorms are appearing everywhere, and prey is dwindling. Leaf-bare seems to be coming."

"But its been leaf-fall and leaf-bare for a long time. We hadn't had green-leaf and new-leaf since we were both apprentices!" I protested.

"Yes, but there hasn't been any snow." Shade mewed. "So we would consider this weather leaf-fall."

I shrugged. "How will we survive then?"

Shade glanced around warily. "By surviving." She mewed grimly.

Her reports were always gloomy. Today, she came over to give me another report.

"The Clans, ThunderClan, RiverClan, ShadowClan and WindClan are having a hard time fighting the cold. The winds are blowing harshly on WindClan, and snow fell there first. ThunderClan and ShadowClan are probably going to be least affected right now because they have the shelter of the trees. RiverClan may be vulnerable, and the rivers are starting to freeze."

She ranted a lot. "Shade?" I mewed.

"Yeah?" She replied, stratching the nearest tree.

"Where do you get all this infornation?"

Shade looked over. Her eyes were dark, and her tail flicked back and forth. "Well, Storm, I always go 'round the Clan, asking them if they need assistance. It's quite simple, they always need help during cold season, and then they just give you the info."

"It's been cold season for moons though." I protested. "Does this mean they've been needing help for a long time?"

"Not necessary." Shade replied, eyes focused on me. "Its been leaf-fall, but not leaf-bare. Snow has fallen on WindClan today, and I do think it'll fall on RiverClan soon."

I nodded, shifting my paws around. I wanted to ask Shade if I could help her, I really wanted to. But I was afraid she would tell me I was useless. Determined though, I opened my mouth, ready to ask the question that was on my tongue.

But she beat me to it. "Would you like to help me?" Shade asked, eyes tracking my every movement. "You aren't doing much around here, so you might as well come with me."

"Really?" I mewed in shock. "You'd really let me join?"

"Yeah," Shade purred. "Why not? I promised Leaf I'd take care of you, and then I abandoned you. I might as well drag my little sister along now."

I lifted my head, and pretended I was an important cat. "I shall follow your every command." I mewed in a deep voice. Strutting around, I thought I looked very magestic. Then I tripped and fell on my face.

Shade snorted and mewed, "Come on. I need to ask ShadowClan and ThunderClan if they need our help. We should go soon, before the storm hits."

"What storm?" I asked, scampering alongside Shade. "Is it more downpour?"

Shade shook her head. "Probably not. Lots of rain, yes, but possibly some snow too. It'll hit the day after tomorrow."

My sister was always good at observing weather and giving speeches. I was more of the shy she-cat who stood around. I was more of the "on-the-side she-cat". Shade's head was held high, her regal manner made others bow down to her. That's why the Clans always accepted her help. They knew she'd be helpful.

And then I wondered if I'd be accepted. I was smaller than Shade, much less talkative, and not a great helper. I didn't understand the clouds or the weather, I didn't know how to help the Clan when asked. So how was I going to help?

Shade glanced over, and murmured. "You're thinking about the Clans aren't you? I'm sure they'll accept you. Don't worry."

That was another thing. Shade always knew what others were thinking. Something else I didn't know how to do. I watched as Shade mingled with RiverClan, explaining to Mistystar what was going to happen. The RiverClan leader nodded slowly, and beckoned for me.

"So you're Storm, correct?"

I nodded, refusing to speak. Shade flicked her tail, and laid it on my shoulder. "Storm's my sister, and she should be helpful in tracking scents."

That was the only thing I knew how to do that Shade didn't. I could track prey anywhere, even in the snow. Mistystar nodded, obviously impressed. "That's good. RiverClan needs to be able to send patrols out to a place where prey is. The river is icing up, and the prey in our territory is dwindling."

"That's the condition for all of the Clans, Mistystar." Shade mewed. "I would highly suggest combining forces with ThunderClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan in order to get the prey together."

Mistystar shook her head thoughtfully. "But if I do, then we won't have enough prey for RiverClan. I cannot allow that."

Shade scuffed the ground. "That is true, but working together would mean finding more places. Each Clan could have one spot to hunt, so all the Clans have enough food."

I watched as Shade debated with Mistystar. My sister was a true warrior. In her heart, she only wanted to help. Shade nodded respectfully at Mistystar, and beckoned me to follow her. "I've persuaded her to let two of her warriors travel with you."

"What about you, Shade? Aren't you coming too?"

"No." Shade mewed. "I'm staying here to help the Clans. You will lead the other cats to a spot where they can hunt for their Clan. Plus, you are faster than me."

I smiled grimly. "Alright."

~*~

Now I was in ThunderClan, telling them the situation. Shade had gone to WindClan, and together we would procede to ShadowClan. Bramblestar's tiring face seemed to darken. "We can only spare one cat to travel. There is too little strong warriors left in my Clan."

I only nodded. "That would be find, Bramblestar, but you have to understand. Once we find that spot, you will have to send out patrols to hunt and bring back prey."

He swished his tail. "I understand, but I can only spare one cat for now. Please."

"Alright, which cat shall journey with Reedtail and Minnowfur?"

"Crowheart." Bramblestar mewed. "He is our youngest, and healithiest cat."

The black tom nodded to me and the two RiverClan cats, and the three of us bid Bramblestar farewell and left to meet Shade. I think this journey was going to be entertaining. At least more entertaining then my life was.

The End of Episode One

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