Chapter one

Smokey dashed through the ravine, her mother and sister not far behind. Rain was pouring from the trees making the forest smell of dampness and moss.

"Smokey, be good like your sister, Soot, and stop running off," Her mother's harsh mew made Smokey stop.

Ever since Smokey and Soot were born thier mother seemed to like Soot more than Smokey. Smokey was always cast away to the shadows while Soot was being washed away in her mother's pride. Smokey was envious of Soot but she tried not to show it. Smokey knew it wasn't Soot's fault for being the centre of attention; it was her mother.

"I need to go and hunt," Soot mewed, as she stopped padding. Her mother gave Soot a weary glance, her white ears flickering. "Then who will take me back to the den?" Her mother asked her amber gaze resting on Soot. Soot flicked her tail to Smokey, who was surprised.

"Smokey can take you, mother," Soot murmured giving her mother's tangled, rain splattered coat a long lick. Her mother spat.

"Smokey can't do anything!" Soot closed her eyes. "You only have to cross the road then go across the small swamp. You have trudged on the path many times, one with only Smokey will not hurt," Soot soothed. Her mother shook her head but followed Smokey. Smokey padded through the narrow ravine and into a lush forest, dripping with rain water.

A car zoomed by the road. Smokey lightly touched her mother's shoulder with her tail. Her mother needed to be guided across the road. Quickly Smokey scampered across the hard smelly black surface. Smokey paused in the middle of the road, as she heard another car come. Fear seemed to find it's way to Smokey even though she had crossed the road many times before. Smokey stood frozen in the middle of the road with her mother right behind Smokey. Smokey blink once or twice and finally started moving again. The car got closer and Smokey paniced and raced to the other side.

Smokey then noticed she had left her frightened mother alone on the road.

"Mother, come over here!" She called as she saw the blinding lights of a car. Her mother let out a shriek and was to paralyzed to move.

Something made Smokey stay on the safe muddy ground beside the road. She had time to run out and get her mother, but something held her back. Was it that small piece of her that wanted revenge? Smokey wasn't sure but the feeling passed and Smokey now wanted to save her mother.

Her mother was trying to race across the road but as she looked back at the car she stopped again.

"Help!" She heard her mother screeched and Smokey hurtled herself at her mother and despretly tried to haul her to safety. A roar filled Smokey's ears and she gave her mother a shove and dashed to the other side. Smokey turned around, expecting to see her frightened mother behind her, but instead she was lying on the road.

"Mother?!" She cried. How could this have happened? Smokey had shoved her enough to send her mother flying over to the muddy ground. Had the car caught her mother when she was flying in the air? Smokey wasn't sure.

"Smokey..." Her mother moaned, eyes closed.

"Mother, wha-what happened?" Smokey asked prodding her mother with her paws. her mother never replied.

"Mother?" She mewed licking her mother's silver gray fur. Another car zoomed by, sending water everywhere.

Smokey closed her eyes and let grief wash over her, but deep in the depths of her heart she felt joy bubbling up within her. Smokey faced the truth, she wanted this to happen.

Chapter two

Smokey lay there for the rest of the day, awaiting Soot's return. Finally a sound from the bushes made Smokey look up.

"Smokey, where is our mother?!" Soot asked her eyes full of hatred, that was aimed at Smokey.

"S-she got hit on the road. I tried to save her but she was already dieing," Smokey mewed shaking as she thought about her mother's broken body.

"Smokey, where is our mother?!" Soot repeated her voice rising with fear.

"Over in the bramble bushes. I wanted to protect her from the wind and rain," Smokey replied still shaking. Soot gave Smokey a another hateful glare.

"What was the last thing she said when she was lying on the road?" Soot asked her voice quivering slightly. Why would Soot want to know that? Smokey wondered.

"She said 'Smokey...'," Smokey mewed and instantly Soot looked broken. "Smokey? Her last words were 'Smokey'? She would have said my name. She would have died with my image in her mind! Not some fox dung cat!" Soot shrieked. Soot then curled up in a little ball and started muttering to herself.

Finally Soot got up pulled off some of her mother's fur ans headed to the swamp. Smokey followed, slowly.

Rain water drenched the forest for the next few sunrises. Smokey wasn't sure how to carry on without her mother. Soot had told Smokey that she had to hunt for herself which was hard for Smokey. Smokey had only hunted once or twice in her whole life. Today she had managed to find a scrawny thrush which barley filled her belly.

Smokey went to her side of the den and curled up on her saoking wet moss. She had tried to find dry moss but the whole forest was drenched. It had never rain this much in Smokey's life time.

Smokey watched Soot comb her paws through their mother's ur that Soot had got a few sunrises before. That took up half of Soot's day; staring at their mother's fur. Soot would barley talk, now. She was so distant and sort of crazy. Smokey closed her eyes and let a poor sleep settle in.

"Shmokey, wheres is mother's fur?" Soot asked her voice like a little squeak. Smokey blinked open her eyes.

Soot's voice sounded wierd. Was it becuase she hadn't talked for five moons?

It had been five moons since thier mother's death and it still continued to rain. Well it wasn't rain more like a foggy mist that hung heavily in the air, keeping the forest wet.

"I don't know Soot, I thought you had it last night," Smokey replied relived that her voice sounded fine. She always talked to herself while hunting, which had gotten better for Smokey as she learned more about hunting.

"Yess, I had it lasht night! Some cat stoles it! Who dare stoles it?" Soot meowed her eyes clouded with rage.

Smokey backed away as Soot turned her gaze to Smokey. It was the first time in five moons that Smokey had looked into Soot's eyes. It scared Smokey what she saw. It was like Soot was blind and her mind full of barely nothing. Her once pretty ice blue eyes were more white and there was no sigh of intelligence in there.

Finally Soot managed to form her next sentence.

"Yous stoles it! Yous stoles my mother's fur!"

Chapter three

Smokey shook her head but Soot kept coming closer.

"You killed mother, too! You were jealoush of me! I will average mother's death," Soot's voice seemed to go back to normal but her mind had not. Smokey scrambled over the ferns and into the forest where she could run away from Soot.

My own sister hates me! Smokey thought. Soot was fast, though and chased Smokey through the heavy mists and fog of the forest. She is mad with grief!

Run! She willed her legs but they started to tire and ache. Soot's paws sounded right behind giving Smokey extra energy.

Suddenly Smokey passed a twoleg nest. She jumped through the cat-tunnel without thinking and plunged into the artificial flower smell of the twoleg nest. A cat was there to greet her.

"Why are you here? This is my place you filthy cat!" The cat mewed, his eyes flickering in the light.

"Look, can I stay here for a day? There is this mad cat chasing me! Can you lock the cat-tunnel?" Smokey blurted out. Right now she didn't care if she had to stay in a twoleg nest, as long as she was away from her sister.

The tom snorted and pressed his paw on a black piece sticking out. "There, it's locked, happy?"

Smokey rolled her eyes. Maybe she would go out there and risk her life and not have to be with this sassy kittypet.

Smokey learned that this kittypet was called "Dojo". He said that he was born wild but was found by a twoleg shortly after birth. Smokey tried not to take in huge breathes of the metal and oily scent of the place where she was hiding. Dojo had set her down in what he called "the basement". He said that the twolegs didn't usually come down there and if they did Smokey could hide among the stacked up boxes.

"You want food?" Dojo's voice surprised her and Smokey found herself nodding. She knew that it was probably going to be some cat pellets.To her surprise he pushed a fresh mouse to her. Smokey sniffed it. She had not eaten since yesterday and ate it in three brisk bites.

Only after then did she ask, "Did you catch it?" Dojo nodded he then went back to the main floor, leaving Smokey in the musty darkness once more.

Chapter four

Smokey purred as Dojo pushed a mouse towards her. It had been two moons since Smokey setted in and the Twolegs still didn't know. Smokey knew she was more fond of this kittypet than she should be.

"Smokey when do are you leaving?" Dojo asked, suddenly. "Why, you want me gone?" Smokey joked. Dojo took another step forward, this is the closest they had ever been to each other.

"I just want to know. I need to put these mouse bones outside," He murmured and dashed to the main floor. When he returned Smokey had an answer for him, "I leave in a few sunrises." Dojo looked shocked.

"I still see that mad cat, pacing around the nest! It's dangerous, Smokey!" Dojo mewed his eyes wide. Smokey sighed, she couldn't stay here forever. "I need to take my chances outside, Dojo."

Dojo snorted, "I thought you wanted to stay. I thought you wanted to stay with me," His voice broke on the last word. Smokey felt pity before it was replaced with anger. She wasn't a kittypet, she needed to be in the forest. Where she could be free and hunt for her own food, not trapped in the basement.

"And what, Dojo? So, I become a kittypet? I can't be your secret forever! The twolegs will find out, eventually, Dojo! Then what? Do I get kicked out? Do I get excepted? I don't want to stick around to find out," Smokey meowed, harshly. By the time she was done she was out of breathe. Dojo sniffed and padded closer.

"I thought you-you loved me," He whispered his voice full of raw sorrow. Smokey glanced at him. She had totally crushed him. Without words she nudged him closer. There tails entwined and Smokey pushed her nose into his shoulder fur, trying to calm him.

"I need to go, Dojo." Dojo grunted and pulled away. "Remeber me, Smokey." He whispered. At first Smokey thought he was still hurt but when she peered into his eyes she saw a little glow of affection.

"I will never forget you!" Smokey breathed and the two touched noses, for the first time.

Chapter five

Smokey waved her last good-bye to Dojo with her tail. She then cautiously leaped over the fence. It was Moonhigh and Dojo said that Soot wasn't prowling the fence in the middle night. It had been a moon since Dojo had asked when she was leaving. Dojo had convinced her to stay for a little while longer.

Quickly Smokey dashed through the alley ways. I must get out of here! she told her legs as they began to ache. Soot probably knew this place better than she did. She leaped up onto a fence to get a better look at the place. Far off in the distance Smokey saw a trees lit up by the moonlight. A forest! Smokey dashed up the alleyways and ran right into a field. There on the other side was the forest!

Smokey ran over the grass and hid in the undergrowth to make sure Soot didn't follow her. Then Smokey decided to sleep for the rest of the night. Where can I sleep and be safe from Soot? Not on the ground... maybe in a tree. Soot cannot climb trees! Smokey plucked some soft grass from the field and placed it on a horizontal branch. It was uncomfortalbe but it was where Soot couldn't reach her.

Smokey thought about Dojo and his warm basement. Was she right to leave? She was safer then she was out here. But Smokey felt free in the wild and wouldn't like to be cooped up in a basement for the rest of her life.

Soon sleep engulfed her and Soot dreamed of living with Dojo except Dojo came to live in the forest with her.

Smokey was awaken by a loud snap! She looked down only to see Soot's frusterated blue gaze looking up at her. There was something different with Soot's blue coloured eyes. They were always swirling with grief and anger, but they looked odd, like they were always covered over by shadows that made Soot not think straight.

"Come down here, murderer!" Soot spat her eyes piercing Smokey's pelt.

"Why, Soot?" Smokey asked her sister. Soot's eyes widened and her voice barley regconizable, "M-my name is Soot?" Smokey was shocked, had Soot gone crazy enough to forget her own name?

In the moments of Soot's confusion, Smokey took her chances and decided to get away from there. She jumped to the nearest tree limb, then to the next tree. She would travel on trees.

Chapter six

Smokey gathered her kits and brought then out of the den. It was three moons since Smokey had last seen Soot. Smokey believed that Soot had died of hunger, or so she hoped.

Smokey had had her kits in this time of peace. She was sure that Dojo was the father. There was one white and gray she-cat, the other an exact copy of Dojo. The white and gray kit was named Petal, the orange one named Sunny. She loved them so much. She made sure to be fair to both of them and not favor like her mother had.

"Hey, mama, where are we going?" Sunny squeaked. Smokey felt herself bristle a little. "I told you we have to move away so the hunter doesn't find us!" The hunter was an evil cat Smokey had made up to scare the kits and make them listen and be cautious. Really it was Soot.

"Today, my kits," Smokey glanced up the mountain. It looked trecharous, but it would be safer.

"Now, let's see if we can find a mouse," Smokey murmured, trying to change the mood. Sunny's eyes light up.

"Yes! Yes! I can scare it out of the bushes and Petal can catch it! We make the best team," Sunny mewed, bouncing up and down. Smokey felt her whiskers twitch with amusement. Soon enough Smokey caught a vole and a robin for her little kits.

"Someday you will be able to hunt like me." Sunny and Petal looked amazed. Smokey sat down and began to groom herself, ready for the long journey ahead. Smokey hated moving, it was dangerous for her kits. It was even more dangerous if Soot found them.

Then the dreaded scent hit her nose. It was the scent of Soot. Smokey looked around widly. Had she imagined it?

"Petal, Sunny, we need to go now," Just as Smokey spoke a mattered grey cat leaped out of the brambles that surounded the clearing.

"Run, it's the hunter," Smokey screeched. Soot's eyes looked as wild and hungry as ever. She looked nothing like what Smokey remembered her sister to look like.

Soot had found her. Soot had found her beloved kits.

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