Nick Name [Preferred title
Dodge is a humble, honest cat. He puts the clan in front of his no matter what, even if it comes to personal matters. He is one of the most loyal cats many have ever met and is very easy to befriend. He does not get angered easily, and when he is angered his always uses words before claws and teeth. He does not believe that fighting is the answer to everything, but when the time to fight rolls around he will agree even if he does not like the idea. He is quite agreeable as well. He is shy at first, but once you get to know him he is an earnest, happy cat with nothing to hide; except his past that is. Because of his past, Dodge is frightened easily by death or killing, which is a small reason why he does not like battle and blood before words. He does not like seeing corpses, as every time the two apprentices', his sister, and his father's image always rolls into his mind. Whenever it does, he often goes into a trance and is easily frightened for the next day or so, jumping at the smallest things.
Dodge is a smaller cat. He is muscular though, which makes him look bigger then he really is. He has normal sized pointed ears and legs that are shorted then some others, seeing as he lived for himself, not with others. His fur is a silvery gray with black tabby markings. He has white below his eyes and facing inwards from his eyes. He has brown just above his nose and a lighter brown shade on his muzzle. His tail tip is black along with his toes. The black on his toes is cut off in an almost perfect curved line at the ends of his toes. His eyes are a beautiful golden yellow colour, like honey.
A young head peered from the Thunderclan nursery, the head of a young kit that is. His beautiful yellow eyes observed the camp and everything in it. He smiled as he spotted the moon peeking out from behind the musty gray clouds in a darkened night sky. He popped back into the nursery for a moment, where his mother and sister were sleeping. "Lazy mousebrains," he growled contempt and anger in his voice as he muttered the words quietly. He stared for a few seconds at Lunarfly, the cat he had called his mother, the cat he had loved the most. He then turned, looking at his sister; Lightkit, a cat he had loved and still loved: for she was innocent of the act committed, and did not even know. Silently, he nuzzled his sister and backed from the nursery, keeping to the shadows as he snuck to the dirt place tunnel. He crept through it and dived into a bush the moment he was in the outside world. Fear gripped his heart for a few moments, as this would be his second time outside of camp, and he hadn't even been through half of the territory. Suddenly, he heard a crack of a twig and whipped around, sprinting away from the bush, the camp, his home. The forest blurred around him as he ran, and as soon as he had come to the lake, he skidded to a halt; collapsing to the ground and gasping for air to fill his lungs once again. As he lay, he thought back to what had happened, and asked himself if it had been a good idea to leave. But, when the image and the words came flashing back, he growled, and knew it had been the right choice.
"Wow!" he gasped as he padded alongside his father in the beautiful forest. His eyes were awestruck and his mouth was gaped as he stared at the forest. His father, Southwind chuckled at him with a smile,
"I remember my first time in the forest too," he purred, "I was as amazed as you look and probably are," he said with a grin. The kit smiled back and nodded, overjoyed that his father had agreed to take him into the forest for a while. Suddenly a warm call came from the bushes and the kit registered it as his mother's, and was soon proven as Lunarfly's silver-tabby head poked out from the bushes, her green eyes shining and a smile on her face.
"Southwind, can you come here for a moment?" she called warmly. Southwind nodded and turned to the kit,
"Dodgekit, I'll be right back. Don't stray too far," he murmured to his kit, otherwise known as Dodgekit. Dodgekit nodded with enthusiasm, too caught up in the smells and sights to care. He smiled at his father as him and his mother disappeared through the bushes. After a while the kit grew bored, and he had guessed it had been about twenty minutes. Yawning, he picked himself up from the ground where he had been playing with beetles and padded over to the bushes, peering through an opening. Dodgekit held back a yowl of fear though, when he saw what was happening. His mother had his father pinned to the ground, and both were covered in blood, mostly his father's blood. Dodgekit's eyes widened in horror as Lunarfly lunged down and bit into Southwind's neck, causing the male to flail and have spasms until he finally went limp and closed his eyes. His heart and head pounding and blood rushing in his ears, Dodgekit backed away and proceeded back to lie down and resume playing the beetles, trying to look as if he didn't know a thing. He forced a smile on his face and pushed all fear from his eyes as he pushed gently at the small black creatures. Ten minutes later he heard a rustle from the bushes and allowed himself to turn and face his mother, who had returned to looking friendly and warm.
"Where's father?" Dodgekit chirped, his eyes shining and a realistic smile plastered onto his lips.
"Your father went off to look at something, he'll be back soon I'm sure," Lunarfly purred, nuzzling her kit affectionately. Dodgekit disgustedly forced himself to nuzzle her back. Lunarfly put her tail over his back and began herding him gently towards camp, and Dodgekit caught one last glimpse into where his father had been killed, to find no evidence visible.
That night, the image replayed in his mind over and over until he awoke slashing and groaning in both physical and mental pain. He felt tired from the thrashing and a terrible cramp lay like a stone in his stomach from twisting and turning so much. He could feel his mother shift beside him then lick his ear gently, "Dodgekit? Are you okay?" she asked softly.
"Y-yeah, I just have a stomach ache," he murmured. He felt a gentle paw pull him onto his back and felt rhythmic licks go back and forth on his stomach, soothing him to sleep.
When he woke up in the morning though, his stomach hurt more. Was it from stress? Had be pulled a stomach muscle? He thought back until he suddenly remembered eating something before his father took him out of camp. He reached in his mind and recalled it to be a small plant. He remembered that he had felt like throwing up when he saw his father get killed, but maybe it had been something else besides the scene? It didn't matter now anyway. He tried to move but a groan slid from his lips as a sharp stab of pain hit his right in his stomach. He heard his mother yawn as his loud groan awoke her. "Dodgekit? Does your stomach still hurt?" Lunarfly whispered softly, as not to awake the others. Dodgekit couldn't get the words out as he realized how much pain he was in, so he nodded weakly as he searched his mind for more, but nothing came up. Only the image of the plant would stay in his mind. He felt himself being lifted off of the ground suddenly and closed his eyes as he started moving forwards, bouncing up and down in his mother's scruff. He opened his eyes about a minute later as he was laid down on a soft moss nest and the scents of herbs surrounded him. He could hear soft murmurs from his mother from farther back in the den and soon she and another male cat appeared. The second cat, the clan medicine cat stepped towards Dodgekit and sat down beside him.
"Do you think you ate anything?" he asked quietly. Dodgekit nodded weakly. The medicine cat turned and began pulling out herbs, showing them each to Dodgekit as he asked where he got the herbs. Suddenly one caught his eyes and he pointed to it. The medicine cat picked it up and studied it with concern, "This was it?" he asked.
"Yes..," Dodgekit managed softly.
"This is dock. It's supposed to make you throw up, but I've heard no reports of it. Where did you get it?"
"In.. here," Dodge murmured, recalling the moment more clearly now. Dodgekit had been extremely tired, so Lunarfly had brought him in here, saying that there was a herb to make him more energetic. She had handed him the dock and he had eaten it. The taste had made his sleepiness go away for sure, but had brought on something worse.
"Dodgekit!" he heard his mother snap and he turned to stare at her, "I told you not to come in here! What were you thinking, coming in here and eating herbs?!" Lunarfly snapped. Dodgekit stared in shock and disbelief at his mother. She had set him up! Dodgekit did want to give away anything though, so he just nodded.
"I'm sorry..," he murmured to his mother.
"Lunarfly, he's had enough. He's only a kit!" the medicine cat interrupted, making Lunarfly begin to grumble to herself. Dodgekit flashed the medicine cat a thankful smile. "Here, eat this," the Medicine cat said, pushing forward some berries. "They'll make you feel better," he said with a smile. Dodgekit nodded and swallowed the herbs.
Later that night, Dodgekit felt much better. He only had small cramps happening at times now, but otherwise he was fine, almost. By now the clan had suspected something had happened to Southwind and a search party had been sent out. They had returned only minutes ago and said they had found nothing but a body outside of the territories, blood that had come from the tom after his mother had moved him, and a faint scent of badger. The group said they had went to look for more evidence and when they had returned the body had been gone, leaving no trail at all. Dodgekit grimaced, remembering his mother who had run from camp just before the patrols had left and had returned right after they had returned.
It was been two nights since that had happened Dodgekit thought, his breath now fully regained. Hate burned in his eyes for his mother, and sorrow for his father. He had run away because he didn't want to be with that killer, and he didn't know what to do about the murder. Nobody would believe him if he told without evidence. He was only a kit, they'd think he was fantasizing. Dodgekit sighed and stood up, gazing around. "Where should I go? Should I live as a loner?" he asked himself. He thought back to when his father had taught us to hunt, and though back about how he had heard of Skyclan's time of need. "I'll do what Sol did in Skyclan. I'll steal prey from other animals, at least until I can hunt by myself. I'm fast, they won't catch me," he murmured, a grin sliding onto his face. "I'll also change my name. As long as I live outside of a clan, I will be known as Dodge and Dodge only," he declared. With those last words, Dodge leapt in a sprint and ran towards the tall trees of Skyclan, for he knew he could find a way up one and make his home in a hole in the tree.
Dodge perked his ears as he steadied himself on the branch. His eyes were locked on the bird as he crept forwards silently and pounced, killing it with his claws before it could fly away. Dodge crept back and placed the bird in his den alongside a few other birds. It was his sixth moons, and he had been living on his own for two moons. "Skyclan really is clever," he said with a smile to himself, "the way they hunt in the trees is excellent," he added. For the past two moons he had been studying the clan and how they hunted. To be honest, Skyclan was more alike to Thunderclan then he had thought. The only thing really different was how they hunted. Dodge had learned how to climb and fight from watching training sessions each day and had made up a schedule for his week that repeated each week. This schedule included hunting, watching training sessions, and other things. Dodge had also to his relief not seen his mother since. Until this day, that is.
Dodge looked at his pile of fresh kill and nodded to himself. He pushed the pile back more and leapt to the ground, landing easily on all four paws. He used the jump to help pick up speed as he started running right from where he hit the ground. He was going to check out Thunderclan, he wanted to know if anything else had happened. The tom dashed from the thin, tall trees of Skyclan to the bushy, thick forest of Thunderclan. Being born in Thunderclan, he easily navigated through the tangled and messy brambles and wove around each of the trees until he reached just outside of camp. He bunched his muscles and jumped towards a tree, clinging onto the bark and pushing himself up and towards the top. He quickly arrived at a branch that gave him a view of the whole camp and watched closely. There was a ceremony going on! He looked closer and gasped when he saw the dead body of the Thunderclan deputy lying still at the base of the high ledge. The leader was looking down with saddened eyes, but a spark of happiness shone in his eyes when he called another cat forwards. Out from the crowd stepped a silver tabby, with mesmerizing green eyes. He could hear murmurs of what the leader was saying as he scowled at the cat he knew as his mother, but he snarled in shock when he heard the leader's words which were soon submerged by cheering. Lunarfly had become deputy. Dodge's claws were the only things that kept his back from lunging into the camp and yowling his protest, and he was about to do so when a sweet voice sounded below him. A voice he would know anywhere.
"Dodgekit?" the voice gasped, causing Dodge to turn and glance down. Dodge gasped as he took in the pretty white and gray female cat that he would recognize anywhere. The cat that looked both like his mother and his father.
"Lightkit?" he responded.
"Lightpaw now," she corrected, leaping up the tree rather quickly to sit down on the branch across from Dodge. "Where did you go? Why did you go? You have to go back! Please!" Lightpaw pleaded.
"No," Dodge responded firmly, "I can't go back, not now," he added.
"Why not?" Lightpaw protested.
"It's because of why I left."
"Why did you leave?"
Dodge drew in a breath as he began, "Remember that one day father took me into the forest when you had that cold? Well, mother was doing something out in the forest and called him over to talk or something. Father left me to explore around the area, but about twenty minutes later I got bored. I looked into the clearing where Mother had taken Father... And..," he cut off, holding back tears and fear.
"Mother killed Father. She held her jaws to his throat and snapped them shut. She moved the body and I watched in shock. I didn't want to be killed myself, not then; so I went back to playing with bugs, forcing a smile when she came out." By now, Lightpaw had tears dribbling down her cheeks as she stared in shock at Dodge. "And you know how I got that really bad stomach ache the day after? Mother set me up. She fed me a herb that could kill me when not used properly. Thankfully it didn't, it just made me really sick. And she blamed me, she said I went into the Medicine den when I was told not to, when she actually fed them to me, lying about the use of them," he explained, tears falling down his cheeks now too.
"I-I understand now," Lightpaw murmured, "Why you left and why you can't go back," Lightpaw sniffed. "What will you do? Will you tell the clan?"
"I would, but she just became deputy, it just isn't a good tie right now," he sighed. Lightpaw nodded and stared into Dodge's eyes before murmuring,
"I should go, mother will be looking for me. Will you meet me here again in twelve moons? We can both tell the clan together then. I can follow her and gather evidence if anything else happens, okay?"
"Okay," Dodge agreed, knowing that they would need lots of time to gather evidence. He leaned forwards and licked his sister's cheek, "I love you," he murmured, and with that he turned around and leapt from tree to tree, glancing back once to see his sister gazing sorrowfully at him before lunging to the ground and towards the camp.
Dodge didn't do much for the next few moons. He hunted, slept, spied, and fought occasionally. He sometimes met with his sister and they discussed what she had found.
His paws padded back and forth as he waited for his sister to appear, it was his third time meeting with her, and it had been nine moons, leaving three more moons until the clan was told. Suddenly, Lightpaw's white and gray body sprung through the bushes, both excitement and fear coming in waves from her pelt. "Sorry I took so long, but I had my assessment today, and I'm a warrior now!" Lightpaw gasped out in excitement. Dodge smiled and nuzzled his sister,
"That's amazing! What's your new name?" he asked her curiously.
"Lightflash," she answered, bouncing up and down in excitement. "Isn't it a cool name?"
"It is," Dodge purred, grinning warmly and licking his sister's cheek in congratulations. "Shall be talk now?" he asked, "We don't have long until the sun sets."
"Yeah," Lightflash agreed, calming herself and sitting down.
"Have you found anything?" Dodge asked.
Lightflash paused and fear entered her eyes, as if she had just remembered something. "Not just one, two actually," she responded, her voice shaking. "It was so bloody. Lunarfly grabbed the bodies of them, two apprentices and flund them into tree's, making them slow and dizzy. She grabbed them one by one and climbed the trees to their tallest branches. She jabbed the branches through their necks and hung them like that. She used a well layered wrap of many things like twigs to keep the blood from dripping to the ground. She hung them like that both in different trees. They're still there, actually," she murmured. "I had just been hunting when I smelled her and the two. I went to look as saw it happen. One was this one apprentice she really hates, and she stuck another branch straight through his gut. There was a hole ripped through right from his back to his stomach. You could see the organs and.. It was so gross. I was throwing up for a day after it," she murmured shakily, tears running down her face. Dodge had a leg holding his stomach as he did his best not to wretch. He could tell his sister was trying her best too.
"Can I see..?" he asked shakily. Lightflash nodded and stood, turning and padding deeper into the Thunderclan forest. After five minutes of travelling, they arrived at a small clearing. Light pointed up at two trees with her tail and Dodge looked at both. The first was still blood, the stake-like branch digging through his neck. The second one though, showed guts and organs. The moment he saw it Dodge instantly felt sick to his stomach. He could see his sister swallowing back something, but she had seen it before. Dodge finally let it slip and dashed to some bushed, retching for what seemed like hours on end. It had only been a half hour when he finished and crawled from the bushes, his stomach churning. He knew that there would be more to come for sure, but he could keep that until he was back home. Lightflash padded over and licked his cheek, rubbing his back with her tail. They stayed like that for a few minutes before Lightflash broke the silence.
"It's nearly nightfall. You don't look so well either, you should go. In two moons be prepared for that again though, because we'll have to take these and show the clan, which involves getting close up and carrying them," Lightflash murmured. Dodge just nodded, forcing himself shakily to his paws. He licked his sister's cheek and began padding away. As soon as he arrived home, the tomcat collapsed onto his nest and fell asleep. He slept for a long time and woke up feeling less sick, but still sick. He could recall throwing up once in the night, but that was all. Dodge felt tired again soon though, and fell back asleep quickly.
For those two moons, once Dodge was feeling well again he resumed his normal activities. But as the days grew shorter and the day drew nearer, Dodge began to dread what would happen. Finally, it was time. Dodge padded through the Thunderclan forest alongside his sister. The came to a stop at a clearing and Dodge glanced wearily at his sister. "I'll get the one with the guts," he murmured, "I don't want you.. Touching it..," he added. He could tell his sister wanted to protest but she knew that Dodge wouldn't give it up even if he wanted to. Lightflash nodded and the two set off to climb the trees. It didn't take long for Dodge to get to the top of the tree, but he instantly felt like hurling again when he saw the body. He held it back, forcing himself to stay calm. He unlatched the body, gagging as he pulled the body off only to find blood and organs sticking to the branch. He threw the body to the ground, lunging down after it. He collapsed when he landed, retching onto the ground for a few minutes, hearing and seeing his sister doing the same across the clearing. His sister stopped first and padded over as Dodge eased off. He let his sister rub his back again and he rubbed hers in turn. Dodge felt sick, but when he thought of how Lunarfly would be proved wrong and exiled, the feeling seemed to disappear and strength seemed to fill him. He grabbed the scruff, standing up and nodded to his sister. She dashed across the clearing and grabbed the other cat's scruff. The two began to trek towards camp silently. They both knew what they were to do when they arrived, and they waited for it, dreading yet unable to wait for it.
The two soon entered the camp without a second thought, the game was on. He heard gasps, both from the bodies and seeing Dodge again. He could hear cats calling for the leader as the two set the bodies down in the camp. He could hear some cats gagging and retching and cats herding others away. Suddenly, a deep voice sounded from behind the two, causing them to spin around to face the leader, and Lunarfly; who flanked him.
"Lightflash, who is this tomcat, and why are these bodies here?" asked the leader calmly, leaving Dodge quite impressed, considering he looked hardly untouched by the body's appearance.
"This is my lost brother: Dodge," Lightflash spoke calmly.
Dodge nodded as he heard the leader draw back a breath along with Lunarfly, who was sweating now. "And I come here in peace but to tell you something shocking. You all remember Southwind, right? He was out father, and Lunarfly's mate," Dodge said, his voice rising. "You all through a badger killed him, right? Wrong! It was Lunarfly! Didn't you smell her scent?"
A tomcat stepped out, the medicine cat, "Now that you mention, I caught a whiff of it,"
The leader nodded, shocked. "Do you have proof?"
"Not of that death, but of these ones," Dodge breathed.
Lightflash stepped forwards, "I watched Lunarfly slay these apprentices: Toadpaw and Ribbonpaw. Nobody can argue that Lunarfly hated Toadpaw," she growled, pointing to the tom. "Why do you think I was sick for a day after their appearance? I retched over and over because of what happened, replaying in my mind. And if you need proof, just look at their claws."
The leader stepped forwards and bent down to sniff the body and stare at the claws. The clan waited in anticipation and the leader finally arose. "She's right," he breathed, his tone scarred. "Lunarfly, your scent is all over them, and your fur in in their claws. Why would you do this?"
All heads turned to the female, who was glaring at Dodge and Light, "I did it because I wanted to," she growled. "I can't believe you two; how could my own two kits turn me in!"
"We turned you in because you killed our Father," Dodge and Lightflash said at the same time. In the next moment, Lunarfly had lunged herself at Lightflash, pinning her to the ground. Dodge jumped in and a battle broke out.
After a half hour, the battle was over and two bodies lay damaged on the ground. Dodge sat weeping next to one as the other spirit died away to rest in The Place Of No Stars. Lightflash had taken his mother's life with the help of Dodge, but her own life was being taken as a result. "Lightflash..," Dodge breathed, weeping into her pelt. Lightflash smiled and licked his cheek, tears running down her dusty cheeks as well,
"I love you Dodge.. Goodbye..," she whispered, then her eyes closed and she stopped breathing. Dodge grieved for a bit and was thanked by the clan before he had to leave, padding from the camp with a heavy heart. He had been offered to join the clan, but he was not going to rejoin Thunderclan, it was all too painful.
For the next few moons Dodge only left his nest to hunt and drink, but after two moons he was sick of it. He was 18 moons old now, he shouldn't be slouching. He had to put the past behind him and move on. That's when he heard the yowls or fear coming from the Fireclan forest. He peered from his den and gasped when he saw smoke arising. "A fire in Fireclan," he gasped, not having time for his corny pun. He launched himself to the ground from the tree and ran towards the fire, crossing the border without a care. He skidded around a corner and the fire came into view. The fire was smaller now, but a cat was screaming; terrified. Dodge looked around and spotted a cat, trapped under a falling tree. He recognized her as the leader of the clan. Dodge gasped and dashed forwards, snapping the root that held her down with his sharp teeth and claws and pushing her out of the way just in time to save her as the tree fell. Dodge's tail just missed being trapped, but her pulled it out in time. He pushed to a nearby pond, grabbed a piece of moss and soaked it in water, throwing it onto the fire and with the rest of the clan joining in, the fire was finally doused. Dodge was left panting at the river's edge once the fire was doused. He lapped up water until his breathing was steady again. When he turned around he saw Leafstar staring down at him with a small smile. "You saved my life, and risking your own to save mine proves that you are an honorable cat," Leafstar spoke calmly. Dodge was shocked by this and nodded slowly. "Will you join Fireclan and reside with us as Top Warrior? I saw that you had strong muscles and fast reflexes. And that act was loyal and brave," Leafstar breathed.
"T-top Warrior?" Dodge stammered, his heart exploding in excitement. This was his change to rejoin a clan! "Yes, I will. It's an honor," he murmured. 'Thank you, Leafstar," he added, knowing her name like he knew all of the other leader's names.
He padded back to camp with the clan, excitement coming off of the tired tom in waves as he told her of his name. When they arrived, the leader leapt onto the high-rock and started announcing. "Today this young tom risked his life to save mine and douse the fire, which saved our camp from destruction and a whole lot of other cats from death. For this, I have offered him the position as Top Warrior, and he has accepted. Dodge, I would like to name you Dodgeburn, after saving the clan from the fire that could have destroyed us all. Thank you." Dodge smiled and nodded,
"I won't let you down..," he murmured,