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These books are what mine is based off of. :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chapter One


 Here's the first draft of chapter one. I hope you like it! Let me know if you find any mistakes. :)

 Chapter One


     Duchess bounded out of the kitty-door and onto the low back porch of her owner’s house. The morning sunshine made her newly-cleaned blue-gray tabby pelt gleam. She blinked to adjust her blue eyes to the bright light, then hopped off the porch and into the tall, dewy grass. Her short legs were quickly soaked as she raced around her yard, stopping to investigate every leaf and stick that she came across, her curious eyes taking in everything she saw. Suddenly she stopped, ears perked and tail erect. She sniffed the air, trying to catch a whiff of the scent that had so alerted her. A faint whiff was all she needed. Slowly she crouched down, crawled towards her target, careful to keep her shiny new collar from jingling. Then... at just the right moment...POUNCED! Perfect timing! The intruding squeaky toy mouse was quickly caught between her tiny paws.
       Duchess was just barely out of kitten-hood. She had been adopted when she was 8 weeks old a few months ago. She was now 6 months old, and still just as full of energy as ever. Her fur was still kit-soft, and she wasn’t very big. In fact, she was small. But size didn’t bother Duchess!
       After wrestling with the squeaky toy for a few minutes, Duchess got bored. She wanted real playmates, and real prey--not just squeaky toys! No cats lived in the houses on either side of hers, and she hadn't been able to get near the fluffy white Persian who lived several houses down. She had seen him through the fence a few times, but had never talked to him. Longingly, she glanced over her shoulder at the woods beyond the metal fence. I bet there are some real mice in there, and I'm sure there are other cats... she thought. She missed the companionship that being around other cats provided. There was a sense of belonging when you had others around you to keep you company. Here, she felt completely alone. There was no one to talk to, no one to play with, and no brothers and sisters to snuggle up with when she went to bed.
       Sighing, she climbed onto the porch and lay down in the warm sunshine. Wistfully, she thought of the days she had spent with her brothers and sister in her old home with her Mother....
* * *

       Two cats had been watching Duchess intently. In the moons that Duchess had lived here, they had taken a great interest in her.
       “Did you see the way she crept through the grass, Silverpaw? With some practice, I think she could be a great hunter!” a sleek reddish-brown she-cat whispered to the cat next to her.
       “I agree, Ravenstar.” Silverpaw meowed. He was an average-sized black cat with a patch of brown fur on his forehead, and a silvery-gray underbelly. “Do you think she would ever come with us?”
       “I never said anything about her coming with us,” Ravenstar hissed.
       “Oh, uhh, well I uh.. I just assumed...” Silverpaw stuttered.
       Ravenstar smiled. “Not yet anyway.”
       Silverpaw relaxed. He hated making his mentor angry, especially since she was also the leader of their clan--ThunderClan. He turned his attention back to the gray tabby sleeping on the Twoleg nest porch.
       “Follow me,” Ravenstar beckoned.
       Silverpaw followed her as she began walking closer to the fence that separated Duchess’s world from the world of freedom.
When they reached the fence, Ravenstar began digging. She scratched the ground near the edge of the fence. “Help me. We need to make this big enough for her to squeeze through, but small enough that she’ll have to work at it a bit," she instructed.
       Silverpaw joined his mentor and began digging. The cool dirt felt good between his toes, and he longed to just go right on digging. But a nudge from Ravenstar stopped him.
       “That’s enough,” she nodded.
       Slowly, the two cats crept back into the forest to wait...
* * *

       “Bet ya can’t catch me!” Ginger taunted, and she raced off. Toby and Steel followed her, trying their best to catch their spunky sister. Toby was a plump calico kitten, while Steel was a sleek light gray one. Ginger was--of course--ginger in color. She was a large tabby kitten, and had laughing amber eyes.
       “Oh, I bet I can!” Duchess mewled. The smallest of the litter, Duchess was often far behind in skill for games like wrestling, but in this game--tag--she was excellent! Her small size allowed her to take shortcuts where her larger siblings could not go, and her quick thinking made up for her lack of strength.
       Ginger raced around the couch, her brothers following her. But Duchess crawled under the couch. She peeked out, waiting for her sister to race by. Just before she did, Duchess sprang out from under the couch right in front of Ginger’s nose.
       Ginger stopped--startled. That moment’s hesitation was all Duchess needed. “Surprise!” she squealed before promptly pouncing on her sister’s head. She nipped Ginger’s ear, and Ginger threw her off gently. Then she pounced on Duchess and the two kittens were wrestling with each other, tumbling and rolling all around the living room floor.
       Finally, they stopped. Both panting and happy.
       The they heard the sweet voice of their mother, Tilly. "Time for you kittens to be in bed now," she purred. "You need your rest."
       All four kittens slowly made their way towards the fluffy pillow that served as a bed for the five cats. They snuggled up to each other, and the boys were quickly asleep.
       “Wow, Duchess!” Ginger praised. “That was great! You really had me fooled when you came out from under the couch like that!” She gave Duchess a friendly lick on the ear.
       Duchess smiled, and shrugged. “It was nothing, really." She closed her eyes, and was soon fast asleep...
* * * 

       Duchess woke up, suddenly. “Ginger!” she exclaimed. She looked around, then realized she had only been dreaming. She sighed, and then stood up and stretched. It was warmer than it had been earlier. She squinted up at the sky. The sun was now high overhead. Wow, I’ve been asleep for hours! she thought.
       She padded over to the kitty-door, and walked into her owners’ house. She trotted up to her water bowl, and wrinkled her nose. Yuck! The water smelled stale. She shrugged and went back outside. It had rained during the night, and she knew there would be a puddle she could drink from at the back of the yard near the corner of the fence.
       She scampered through the grass, which was no longer wet, and stopped in front of the puddle. Slowly, she drank her fill.
       Duchess lifted her dripping muzzle into the air, and sniffed. Whenever she was at the back of the yard, the most tantalizing smells greeted her. Today, the sweet scent of catmint called to her, and the earthy smell of moss beckoned her along with dozens of other smells that she couldn’t put names too. She yearned to find some way out of the yard and into the woods.
       She eyed the metal fence with hatred. She could see through the fence, but the holes in the mesh were just small enough that she couldn’t get out. It was as if it was taunting her, just the way her sister used to. Only there was no way to outsmart a fence. She’d tried to climb over before, but her small legs and tiny paws weren’t strong enough yet to propel her up and over.
       Back home, Mother had always warned Duchess and her siblings of the dangers of wandering out of their yard, but Mother wasn’t here to stop her this time! She walked along the back edge of the fence, searching for any sort of escape route. She had done this many times in the past weeks, but not ever so carefully before.
       Then something caught her eye. At the bottom of the fence, she spotted something that hadn’t been there before--a small hole. Well, not a hole, really, but the grass and some dirt had been scratched away under a tiny part of the fence. Carefully, she sniffed it. It smelled like something she had never smelled before. The smell reminded her of her mother and siblings, but it was much more wild-smelling. She nervously flicked her tail and peered into the woods behind the fence. She could see nothing, but just to be sure, she sniffed the air. Nothing.
       She looked over her shoulder, just to make sure no one was watching. Satisfied, she turned back towards the hole and flattened herself to the ground. Carefully, she crawled under the fence.
            She poked her head out onto the other side of the fence, and breathed deeply. The smells of the forest greeted her. They made her almost giddy, as she finally realized how close to freedom she was.
            She crawled forward when she suddenly felt a sharp pull on her neck. Her collar was caught on the fence. She grunted, and tried again to pull herself forward, harder this time. The collar stopped her again.
            Desperately, she tried backing up, and then pulling forward again. But her collar jerked her back. She gave a frustrated hiss, and stretched out her forelegs. She scratched the ground with her sharp needle-like claws.
            For a few minutes, she continued trying to struggle her way out from under the fence, but it was no use. Her collar held fast.
            Sighing, she laid her head on her paws and prepared to wait. She didn’t know what for, but she knew that she couldn’t get out of this predicament on her own.
            The hours passed slowly. The sun sank along with Duchess’s hopes of ever reaching freedom. An ant crawled in front of Duchess, its shiny black body illuminated by the setting sun. She batted at it with her paw until it finally crawled out of her reach carrying its leafy burden back to some hidden anthill.
            Finally, she heard the familiar creak of the hinges on the back porch door. She couldn’t turn her head far enough to see behind her, but she imagined the flood of light that would come pouring out of the door, soaking the dark backyard with its artificial rays. She heard her owner calling, his voice harsh and expectant. She knew he would not be happy with her for staying out so late. Usually, she came inside before it got dark.
            She mewed, hoping that he would hear her and come to her rescue. But he didn’t. Duchess heard the door shut behind him as he trudged back into the house.
            Determined not to wait out the night in this awkward position, she again began to struggle. She squirmed and pulled, but the stubborn collar would not release her.
            Suddenly, she heard a rustle in the bushes in front of her. She stopped, ears pricked and eyes wide. The tips of her paws tingled as she imagined what could have possibly made the noise. She remembered how her mother had said that there were many dangerous creatures living out in the wild. Could it be one of the creatures her mother had warned her about? She sniffed the air. All she could smell was the same old smell of the woods. But then a gentle breeze hit her face, bringing with it a smell that she recognized.
            It was the same smell she had scented at the hole that afternoon! The scent had faded from the hole, but it now was brought to her stronger than it had been.
            The fur on the back of her neck stood up. From the bushes, she spotted a pair of bright yellow eyes staring straight at her!
            She gulped, and managed to whisper, “Who’s there?”
            No answer came.
            But then the eyes started moving towards her. They came closer and closer until they finally emerged from the bushes. Out stepped a young tom. His silver chest shone against his black fur, and there was a brown patch of fur on his broad forehead.
            They stared at each other for a moment. Duchess was too scared to speak, but the tom meowed, “Need some help?” His voice was gruff, but not unfriendly.
            Duchess simply nodded.
            The black cat stepped forward, and bent down toward Duchess’s neck. Gently, he grabbed her collar with his sharp teeth.
            “Now back up,” he instructed through clenched teeth.
            Duchess obeyed. She backed up, and at first it seemed as if it was simply a waste of time. But she kept pulling, and gradually she felt the collar slipping over her ears until it finally was all the way off.
            Duchess sat up and looked at her rescuer. He still held the collar in his mouth and was using it to pull the fence upward so that Duchess could wriggle through.
            “You comin’?” he asked, a bit impatiently, Duchess thought.
            Duchess squirmed under the fence, and, at last, was on the other side.
            “Thanks!” she breathed. She was still a bit shocked at this sudden appearance.
            The young tom shrugged. “It was nothing,” he replied.
            The two cats sat in awkward silence. Then the silence was broken by a loud rumbling of Duchess’s stomach.
            Embarrassed, she looked down at her paws, and tried to act natural.
            The black cat’s yellow eyes suddenly filled with concern, and he asked, “How long were you stuck like that?”
            Duchess looked up at him, her eyes glittering with defiance. She didn’t want to appear like a little kit to this young stranger. “Not long,” she answered coldly.
            The tom noticed the defiance in her eyes, and his whiskers twitched with amusement. “Well when was the last time you ate?” he questioned.
            Duchess shrugged, and looked down at her paws. “This morning,” she mumbled.
            The young tom nodded, and stood up. He padded off into the bushes. “Follow me,” he called over his shoulder.
            Duchess stood up and followed him into the bushes. She caught up to him, and kept pace with him. They walked side-by-side through the dense undergrowth for a little while, neither one saying a word. Then Duchess spoke up, “By the way, I’m Duchess.”
            The black cat nodded, but didn’t give any reply. He kept up a steady pace, and Duchess found it a bit hard to keep up with him since her legs were quite a bit shorter. The tips of her ears only came up to his eye-level.
            “What’s your name,” she finally asked.
            He stopped and looked down at her. “Silverpaw,” he meowed. “I’m an apprentice in ThunderClan.”
            Duchess looked up at him, confused, “A what-ice?” she said.
            “An apprentice,” Silverpaw clarified. “It means I’m training to be a warrior.”
            “A warrior? What for?” Duchess asked. This whole thing wasn’t making any sense.
            Silverpaw rolled his eyes and tried to patiently explain. “I can see I’ll have to start at the very beginning,” he said. “Further into this forest, there’s a lake. Around this lake there are four groups of cats: ShadowClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and Thunder Clan. That’s the one I’m in.” He stopped to make sure Duchess had understood everything he said.
            Duchess was sitting and looking up at him, her clear blue eyes filled with curiosity. The patchy moonlight that came through the tree-tops glimmered on her silvery fur. “Go on,” she prompted.
            “So each Clan has their own territory and boundaries. We warriors have to protect our territory from invaders from the other Clans,” he continued.
            “But I thought you weren’t a warrior yet. You said you were training to be a warrior.” Duchess pointed out.
            Silverpaw shuffled his paws and huffed, “Well, yes I did say that. But I still help protect my clan,” he defended.
            Duchess’s whiskers twitched with amusement, but she simply said, “Okay, then what.”
            “Well,” he said, “we also hunt for food to feed our Clan. And we all work together to protect the Camp. The Camp is where we live. There are separate dens for the warriors, the apprentices, the kits and their mothers, the medicine cat, and our Clan leader, Ravenstar.”
            “A medicine cat?” Duchess interrupted. “What does a medicine cat do.”
            Silverpaw tried to remember Twoleg terms Ravenstar had used when describing the life of a kittypet so that Duchess could better understand what he was trying to explain. He looked at her and asked, “Well, you know the vet?”
            Duchess nodded, “Yes, I was there once for a check up. My Mother said my owners would eventually take me there again when I was older, but I haven’t been back since.”
            Silverpaw continued, “Well, it’s like that. The medicine cat takes care of sick cats, and tends to wounded ones. She uses herbs to treat us.” Silverpaw’s wrinkled his nose as he said, “Sometimes they taste nasty. But at least they work.”
            Duchess’s stomach growled again. But she looked at Silverpaw, trying to act like nothing had happened.
            Silverpaw shook his head, “What are we doing standing here talking? I should get you to my mentor, Ravenstar. You’re probably hungry enough to eat a whole rabbit by now!”
            Duchess laughed. She followed Silverpaw as he again began his steady trot through the woods.


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  2. When I saw the end I was like nooo! =(^_^)= Keep on writing, I'm really looking forward to seeing what it going to happen!! =)
    -Misty G. Royal

  3. Replies
    1. thanks! ^-^ I've liked writing for a long time, but this is my first attempt at a book. :D


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