Synopsis: Pearl is beautiful, skilled, and kind, so why does no cat want her? Ever since she was born, no cat ever really loved her. Her father was the evil Stormflight, who caused terrors, deaths, murders, and much, much worse to Pearl's birth clan, SplashClan. Stormflight was cursed by StarClan to never be accepted into any world for what he did, but little did they know that the curse would carry on to his daughter, who was nothing like her father, despite what the clans thought. Pearl travels all over, rouge, loner, kittypet, and even belongs to a tribe for a bit, but no cat would love her or accept her. Will Pearl have to go through life... alone?
Stormflight flicked his brown tail and leaped up onto highstone. He watched the cats all around camp, fighting, clawing, biting, hissing, and sending spurts of blood into the air. He curled his tail around his paws comfortably and watched as his clanmates battled for their lives.
The water all over camp was red with blood, and many cats lie on the ground, motionless. The dens were torn open and brambles littered the clearing. the medicine cat's den, before it had been destroyed, was sticks waved together with brambles and reeds with a stream cutting off from the river that ran by camp flowing into a pool in the center of the den. However, the attackers had stamped out the walls and herbs clogged up the stream and flew around the fighting cats, and the medicine cat, Fernbush, lay dead in the center of the clearing.
Stormflight let out a hiss of annoyance when one of the attackers, who were rougues, sliced open the belly of Hollystar and a stripe of blood flew into Stormflight's face. He leaped down from Highstone and knocked the rouge away from Hollystar. The black tom looked hopeful that his deputy had decided to fight for his clan after all, but then Stormflight turned on him.
"you traitor!" Hollystar hissed, jumping back and ignoring the blood rushing out of the claw marks on his belly.
"I want to kill you myself!" Stormflight hissed. "you deserve to die!"
"what have I done?" Hollystar hissed.
"You didn't make me deputy! I deserved to be deputy!"
"I did make you deputy, Starclan told me you were the one who was best for the job!" hollystar spat. "I must have read the sign wrong!"
"There was no sign! I faked it! I threatened Fernbush and made him tell you the storm meant me!"
"you do not belong in SplashClan! you do not belong in any clan!"
"I don't care what you think!" Stormflight spat. "I am leader now!" He leaped at Hollystar and pinned him down. He sliced at his belly again and again, ignoring Hollystar's struggles. Finally, when the leader's struggles weakened, he sunk his teeth into his neck. the leader stopped struggling, and Stormflight stepped back.
He turned to jump back onto the Highstone, but someone pinned him down. He couldn't see who it was, his face was buried in the blood-stained dirt, but he heard a voice that seemed layered with wisdom. However, this voice was filled with anger. "Stormflight, you don't belong in any clan. and Starclan will make sure you won't ever belong in any clan, ever again!"
Stormflight stood as quickly was he could to toss the cat off, but he had disappeared. Somehow, the fight had turned around. SplashClan was now winning, and the rouges were being chased back. Stormflight quickly licked the dirt and blood from the brown fur, but he felt a sharp pain in his tail. His head flicked around to see a white and black she-cat with her teeth dug into his tail. It was his former mate.
"Blackcloud!" Stormflight gasped. Teh she-cat tugeed on his tail, pulling Stormflight to the ground. Blackcloud leaped on him and hissed in his face. the kits in her belly didn't make her look any less frightening. the she-cat sunk her teeth into his neck, killing him quickly.
the rougues kept on fighting, but one ginger she-cat was tossed over by Stormflight's body. when she saw her dead leader, she yowled in alarm. "Stormflight's dead! Dead!" and the rougues retreated.
Blackcloud licked the blood off her paws, and glanced around the camp. She hoped this would be the end of SplashClan's troubles. and it was to be, at least for a little while. but It wasn't the end the kit in her belly's troubles.
Blackcloud cringed with pain and bit down on the stick in her jaws. Reedpond, the new medicine cat, tried to calm her down. "The kit is almost here." he whispered to her. "just a bit longer."
Blackcloud bit down hard as he entire body convulsed. The stick splintered and she spit it out, but now the pain was gone. She gazed at Reedpond, watching him licking the beautiful little she-cat 's fur. She was pure white with black and brown striped legs and tail.
"Here, she's breathing." Reedpond meowed, pressing the kit into Blackcloud's belly. the kit started to nurse, but Blackcloud just gave a tired and worried look at the kit. "What's wrong?" reedpond asked.
"I will never love this kit." Blackcloud suddenly spat. "Her father was evil and she will be evil! I hate this kit!" she kicked the kit away and stood. she raced out of the den and ran over to the river. She jumped in and swam away before Reedpond could run after her. the medicine cat picked up the kit and padded over to another queen.
"Greenmoss, do you have enough milk for this kit?" he asked.
"I do, but I'm not happy about it." she sighed. "but even if her father was Stormflight, I can't leave a kit to die."
"Thank you, Greenmoss." Reedpond nodded, then he turned and padded out of the nursery.
Behind him, Greenmoss pushed the kit against her belly , careful not to wake her sleeping kits. She had three kits, two she-cat and one tom. the two she-cat were pinkish-cream, but one had a black paw, adn the other had a black ear. The one with the black paw was named Rosekit and the one with the black ear was called Coalkit. The tom was a brown tabby like his motehr, and his name was Mosskit.
As Greenmoss touched the kit, she felt a sudden surge of hatred for the kit. Stormflight's rouges, the ones he had led right into camp, had killed her sister, Jadewing, and her brother, Fernbush. "But it's not this kit's fault." She sighed to herself. "She is a pearl in a terrible family."
By the time Blackcloud returned, the whole clan had heard what had happened. She got disapproving glances from everybody when she swam up to the edge of the riverbank into the camp, several trout in her teeth. She dragged the prey over to the Fresh-kill pile, then turned away to the Warrior's Den.
"Where are you going?" a white she-cat asked.
"I'm going to the Warrior's Den, where else?" Blackcloud mewed.
"But you're a queen, aren't you going to the nursery?" the she-cat asked, surprised.
"I'm not a queen." Blackcloud spat in the she-cat's face. "I have no kits!" and she turned and disappeared into the Warrior's den.
Teh white she-cat just stared after her in surprise. "I'm going to check on that poor kit." she mewed, determination in her voice.
"I'm coming with you, Littlecloud." meowed a yellow-golden she-cat, following her to the nursery.
They found Greenmoss, sleeping with her kits curled next to her belly. The little kit was asleep in her own nest, alone.Littlecloud and the other she-cat purred at the cute kit, then padded over to her. Littlecloud leaned down and licked her fur, but at that very moment, she felt a surge of hatred.
"I see what Blackcloud means." she hissed, backing away. "That kit is evil, just like her father!" She rushed out of the nursery, and the other she-cat stared after her, wonder in her eyes. Then she turned back to the kit, and felt the same surge of hatred.
"This kit will turn out just like her father." the she-cat hissed to herself, and she raced out of the nursery after her friend.
Bravestar stared wide-eyed at the kit. "What have we done?" he meowed in a worried voice to the black tom next to him.
"I have done nothing." the tom meowed. "You cursed him before I was even in StarClan. It's not my fault."
"Hollystar! Don't try to pin this on me!" Bravestar snapped. "It was decided by all of StarClan!"
"Was it decided to ruin a poor kit's life by making all the cats hate her?" Hollystar snapped. "I'm not going to take any blame for this."
"We must figure out how to fix this." Bravestar sighed.
Rosekit prodded the new kit's side. "Does she have a name yet?" Rosekit asked, gazing up at her mother.
"Not yet." Greenmoss told her. "Her mother refuses to name her."
"Why?" Rosekit asked.
"She doesn't like her."
"Her mommy doesn't like her?" Rosekit asked, eyes wide.
"Some kits aren't as lucky as you and your littermates." Greenmoss sighed. "If Blackcloud doesn't want anything to do with the kit, thne I guess I'm her mother now."
"Does that mean she's my sissy?" Rosekit asked, giving the little kit an anxious glance.
"She is now." Greenmoss meowed. She prodded the sleeping kit into her nest. "She is a pearl in a bad family, so I guess I'll name her Pearlkit."
"Beautiful name," came a voice. "too bad it's wasted on such a terrible kit." Littlecloud and her friend padded into the nursery.
"What are you doing here? Come to insult the kits and call them evil?" Greenmoss spat.
"No, Halfstar sent us to check on his son and daughters." Littlecloud's friend meowed.
"Why didn't he come himself?" Greenmoss asked, surprised. She never new of a time when her mate would pass up the chance to come and visit her in the nursery.
"I dunno. Probably didn't want to be around the evil kit." Littlecloud spat.
"Well, Littlecloud, nobody here cares about your and Creampelt's opinions."
"Why am I evil? did I do something wrong?" came a tiny, squeky voice.
Everybody spun around to see Pearlkit with her head raised and pointed at Littlecloud and Creampelt. Although her eyes were closed, Greenmoss could tell she would be crying if the were.
"Oh, it's simple." Littlecloud mewed. "You're evil because your father was evil, and nobody here loves you!" Littlecloud flipped around and raced out of the nursery, Creampelt on her tail.
"But, doesn't mommy love me?" Pearlkit asked, voice full of saddness and worry. Greenmoss didn't answer, she just picked up Rosekit and set her in her nest.
Blackcloud scooped a minnow out of the river. She killed it, picked it up in her jaws, and tossed it across the clearing onto the fresh-kill pile.
"Nice toss." came a voice. Blackcloud flipped around to see Reedpond watching her.
"I woulld be tossing larger fish if you'd let me out of camp."
"you might still be weak from your kitting."
"what kitting?" Blackcloud spat. "I have no kits."
"you're being stupid about this." Reedpond snapped. "it's not the kit's fault who her father was. If you don't beglect her and raise her right, she might not turn out like her father."
"That's what you think." Blackcloud mewed. She leaped into the river and swam away.
"Wait, you shoudln't leave camp yet!" Reedpond yowled after her.
"I never kitted!" she yowled back. Reedpond shook his head and padded away.
Greenmoss awoke to a tickling on her nose. She opened her eyes to see a cute little white kit face less than an inch from her's. Staring into her eyes were the most beautiful purple eyes she had ever seen. "You've opened your eyes, Pearlkit." She purred
"where's mommy?" Pearlkit asked, backing up. "You don't smell like my mommy."
"That's because I'm not your mommy." Greenmoss meowed. "Your mommy's off hunting."
"But Rosekit told me that queens aren't supposed to leave camp until their kits are three moons old." Pearlkit tipped her head to the side in confusion.
"Well, let's just say your mommy doesn't like being a queen." Greenmoss curled with her tail over her nose and drifted back off to sleep.
Five moons later...
Pearlkit raced around in the clearing, waiting for Rosepaw, Coalpaw, and Mosspaw to come back from training. They had been apprentices for one moon now, and they never forgot to come back and teach Pearlkit fighting moves.
Pearlkit stopped dead when she saw a black and white she-cat swim in the entrance to camp. She raced over to this cat. She must be new, for she had met every cat in SplashClan by now. "Who are you?" she asked this cat.
"Don't talk to me you evil little pest!" the she-cat spat.
Greenmoss swam after her, and smacked her on the back of her head with her paw. "Blackcloud! there is nothing wrong with Pearlkit! Don't be so mean!"
"Blackcloud?" Pearlkit asked, eyes wide. "You're my mommy?"
"You're no daughter of mine!" blackcloud spat again and raced away. Greenmoss padded past Pearlkit without a single word of comfort, and she was followed by a black tom named Batflight and a white she-cat named Snowball. they all passed, ignoring the kit, and Pearlkit felt like she was going to cry. why did her mommy hate her? Why did her adopted mommy hate her? Why did all of SplashClan hate her?
Pearlkit ran away to the nursery, but stumbled on the way. Tears leaked from her pretty purple eyes. Then she saw one white paw and one black paw in front of her muzzle. Her gaze traveled upward to see a half-black-half-white tom with bulging muscles and amber eyes in front of her.
"Come on, Pearlkit." the tom meowed. "It's time for your apprentice ceremony."
Pearlkit jumped up and started washing her pelt, using her paws to wash the tear from her face in the process. "Already, Halfstar?" she asked.
"Well, you can't be happy all alone in the nursery, can you?" Halfstar asked. "And I've already picked your mentor."
"Great!" Pearlkit meowed.
"Pearlpaw, I myself will mentor you." Halfstar announced. "You will also be coming will me to the Gathering tonight."
Pearlpaw sat and waited in silence, but no cat cheered her name. She felt a rush of saddness, and tears filled her eyes. She turned and ran to the river and swam away from camp
At the Gathering...
Pearlpaw still felt sad as she raced down into the Clearing after Halfstar. The Gathering had already started, and RainClan's leader was speaking. "That is all RainClan has to report." he finished. The cats all started to leave, but Halfstar yowled as splashClan arrived.
"Ah, SplashClan decided to show their faces." sneered the DripClan's leader.
"Yes, we did." Halfstar mewed. Pearlpaw tuned out his report as she padded over to a group of RainClan apprentices.
"Hello, I'm Pearlpaw." Pearlpaw introduced herself.
"I'm Lightningpaw." meowed a white tom. Pearlpaw gazed at him in amazement as he turned around and she saw a black lightning-bolt-shaped spot in his side.
"I'm Thunderpaw, and this is Stormpaw." meowed a golden she-cat, and referring to a black tom by her side.
"I'm Dustpaw." meowed a black she-cat.
"what's RainClan like?" Pearlpaw asked. she gazed at the apprentices in amazement as they desribed a beauitiful forest territory where it always rained but the sky was always clear and the ground was never muddy. "It sounds amazing!" Pearlpaw exclaimed.
"Better than SplashClan, I bet." Lightningpaw mewed.
"Be nice, Lightningpaw." Dustpaw meowed, smacking him on the head wiht her paw.
"He's right, though." Pearlpaw stared at the ground in shame. "Everyone in splashClan hates me."
"Why?" dustpaw asked, surprised.
"I dunno, they won't tell me. My mother wouldn't even speak to me until today." Pearlpaw looked up and realized the Gathering was breaking up. She turned to go join Splashclan, then glanced back at the retreating RainClan. She looked around at Greenmoss, who had only grudgingly let her nurse and had left her alone in the nursery, at Blackcloud, who had always hated her even though she was her own daughter, at Littlecloud and Creampelt, who hated her beyond belief, then back at RainClan, with their beautiful territory.
Pearlpaw turned around and raced after the RainClan cats. She was leaving behind a clan where she did not belong.
Pearlpaw padded carefully behind the group of RainClan cats, waiting for one of the apprentices to break off from the group. After a long time, Dustpaw fell behind and Pearlpaw shot out of the undergrowth towards her. "Pearlpaw, what in the name of StarClan are you doing here?" Dustpaw exclaimed.
"I'm not wanted in SplashClan, so I've come to join RainClan." Pearlpaw meowed simply.
"But the clan would never accept a SplashClan cat!" dustpaw pointed out.
"SplashClan didn't accept a SplashClan cat!" Pearlpaw countered. "I'm sure whereever I'm going, it's better than what I'm leaving behind!" Pearlpaw shot back into the undergrowth and followed the group back to their camp.
Once they got to camp, she stepped out into the group. They scented the SplashClan on her immediatley and quickly formed a ring of warriors around her. Instinctivley, a gray she-cat shot out of the ring towards the nursery and stood in the entrance, fur brislting. A huge black tom with bulging muscles and cold eyes filled her place.
"What's that SplashClan vermin doing here?" asked a rasping voice. it came from an old gray she-cat with ragged fur and scars littering her flank. Pearlpaw wanted to protest, but she felt now was the best time to be quiet.
A small, light gray she-cat with black paws and face stepped forward out of the ring. the closed behind her. The she-cat stood next to Pearlpaw, about the same hieght, and asked, "You must be Pearlpaw. What are you doing in our camp? Spying? Are you scouting ahead to clear the path for an attack?"
"Hush, Silverstripes." the huge black tom meowed. "It is unlikely that SplashClan would attack on the night of a Gathering."
"Unlikely, but possible." the light gray she-cat snapped.
"I understand that you all would like to torture the apprentice," came a voice from behind Pearlpaw, "but I should like to deal with this." A light gray tom that looked almost exactly like Silverstripes stepped forward. He was just as small, tiny but strong.
Pearlpaw dipped her head. "Hazestar, I-"
"Hold your touge for a moment, Pearlpaw." the little tom mewed. He turned and spoke to the circle, "Everyone, go back to your dens. Pearlpaw holds no threat at all. I shall speak with her in my den." He led the way to his den, then stopped and turned back to teh crowd of cats, now breaking apart. "Silverstripes! I'll need my deputy!"
"Silverstripes is deputy?" Pearlpaw thought aloud, "is it wise to have two such small cats lead the clan?"
"Do not advise me on how to run my clan, SplashClan scum!" Hazestar snapped, fur bristling. then he calmed down and licked his fur down. It was apprant his anger could get out of hand in a matter of seconds. "Hazestar, should I have Batnight-" Silverstripes asked.
"no, we have no need for a guard, Silverstripes. It's a weak little SplashClan bug." Hazestar mewed. "Now, Parlpaw, tell me what you're here for?"
Pearlpaw hesitated. The more and more she looked around at all the hatred around the camp, she realized she wouldn't have any better life here than she would in SplashClan. "Should I give them a chance to warm up to me?" she thought. Then she turned to Hazestar and spoke aloud, "I would like to become a warrior of RainClan. SplashClan refused to accept me, and I hoped a new start and hard work would make some cat respect me, eventually." she added. "Really?" Silverstripes hisssed. "Really? you think that if life isn't going perfect, you just get to run off and join some other clan? If you're not good enough for SplashClan, what makes you think we'll want you?"
"SplashClan didn't give me a chance-" Pearlpaw began.
"Nom, Pearlpaw, go back to SplashClan. If we see you on our territory again, we'll attack." HAzestar flicked his tail as he padded out of his den. the huge black tom appeared at his shoulder. Or more accuratly, above it. "Batnight," Hazestar meowed to the black tom, "take this bit of scum back to her own territory. Take Raggedfur and Chipear too."
Batnight went off to fetch the two warriors, and through later seasons for the rest of her life, Pearlpaw could never really understand what she did next. She ran.
Pearlpaw dashed out the tunnel and through the forest. She raced through the undergrowth and jumped over streams. She heard some pounding cat on her tail, and within second she was flat on the ground, something huge on top of her. She had never learned out to fight, so she just sat there and struggled weakly under the wieght of the huge cat.
"Last strike. We're sending you home with some scars, little SplashClan scum." hissed the voice of Batnight.
"Don't hurt it." came the voice of the ragged gray she-cat. "Let's just toss it into SplashClan territory."
"How can we trust it won't run away again?" came a third voice Pearlpaw couldn't recognize.
"We'll just have to make sure it can't get very far." Batnight mewed evily. He let Pearlpaw up, but first he bit her hind leg sharply and painfully. Pearlpaw let out a loud, high-pitched yowl of pain, and when Batnight let go, she couldn't walk on her own.
The gray she-cat, Raggedfur, reached forward and picked up Pearlpaw by the scruff. She dragged Pearlpaw along until they got to the river. "HAve fun, cockroach." Raggedfur spat. She dropped Pearlpaw on the shore than the patrol raced away.
Pearlpaw dragged herself into the river. She couldn't swim very well with the hurt leg, but she made her way to a big stone in the center of the river. There she lay across it, water splashing her pelt, and she fell asleep in exaustion.
Next morning, PEarlpaw jumped in the river and started swimming upstream. She couldn't go back to splashClan or RainClan, but there might be more friendly loners and such upstream. After a long time swimming, her leg started to hurt badly and she had to rest on another rock. She then swam back to shore and found herself by a strange farm.
She crawled slowly up to the barn door and peeked inside. It seemed empty, but it was dark and creepy. But Pearlpaw smelled mice, and she was starving. She crept inside, tracked the mouse to a corner, and pounced. As she lay in the arkness, about to eat her kill, she flipped around. A noise had startled her. It sounded like a huge 'clop'. She ignored it and turned back to her kill, but there was another clop, closer this time. Suddenly, this huge, scary animal was slamming it's hard, noisy paws all around, nearly trampling her.
PEarlpaw yowled and ran, leaving her kill in the dark barn. She ran out back into the light, only to find that it wasn't light at all. It was raining badly. She was soaked in a matter of seconds. She would shelter in the barn, but the strange creature might trample her. She saw another small building and raced inside.
It was nice and dry, little piles of hay all over. Even better, there were huge, white, plump birds. Pearlpaw's stomach growled, and her legs ached, so this seemed like the perfect place. She hid in the shadows behind a particularly plump bird, then pounced and killed it before it could make a squawk.
However, the other birds started freaking out and flapping and sqauwking madly. PEarlpaw dragged her catch under a table and stashed it behind a small hay bale . She hid in it herself and peeked out as a twoleg came in. The twoleg closed the door behind him and calmed down the birds. He dropped them all in their nests and counted them. He let out an angry yowl as he noticed one bird missing. He searched all over, missing PEarlpaw's hiding place, then said something that almost sounded like, "musta gottin outsid when i opened da door..."
The twoleg left, and Pearlpaw enjoyed her meal. She stashed the bones deeper in the hay, then she pulled out a little nest's worth of hay and she lay in it, ready to sleep.
Pearlpaw stayed in that's den for a week. It was great, she snuck out during night adn she could eat all the birds she wanted. Except, one night the twoleg set a trap.
Pearlpaw was hunting the birds, which she found out were called, "chickens", and ate herr kill. There were few chickens left, and the twoleg was angry. Pearlpaw stepped out to go into the barn and eat some mice, which was a lot nicer in the daylight. When she finished, she saw the twoleg making noises in the shicken coop where she lived, then waited for him to leave. When she strolled through the entrance, she was suddenly snaped up into a net.
"GOTACHA!" the twoleg yowled happyily. He ran over, Pearlpaw struggling in the net, and slipped the apprentice into a bag. everything went dark, and Pearlpaw panicked. Then suddenly, she was soaked. The twoleg had tossed ehr into a river!
Pearlpaw used her claws to slice out of the net, then she sliced open the bag and swam out. that was close! She swam to the edge and sat on the river bank, panting and coughing up water. then there were claws in her back. She was yanked up ontot eh grass and a huge, silver she-cat was standing over her. "What are you doing the territory of the Tribe of Ripping Claws?" she hissed.
"Silver, back off. It's a little loner." came another voice. A golden tom appeared.
"sun, leave me alone!" Silver hissed. "This cat is evil, I can tell!"
"You're wrong, she can't hurt anyone." Sun hissed back. then he got a good look at Pearlpaw. "She may be evil." Sun admitted. "But she needs some prey in her. Let's take her back to Claw Reader."
They took Pearlpaw to a cave. "My name is Sun that Glows on Ponds." Sun meowed.
"My name is Silver Moon that Shines at Night." Silver mewed huffily.
Pearlpaw thought. Why not change her name while she has the chance. "My name is... um... Pearl in Murky Waters." she meowed.
"Interesting name." Sun meowed. They went into the cave, and Sun left to talk to the leader, appantly named Claw Reader. Silver and Pearl sat in the center of the cave, cats staring at her with wonder, hissing and spitting.
"She may stay one day!" Claw reader announced, appearing from his den. The cats yowled in protest, but Pearl just grabbed a mouse form the pile, eat it, then sat in a nest that Sun had prepared for her.
Pearl awoke to cat's yowls. She shot up and asked Silver what was going on. "A wolf is coming!" she yowled in Pearl's face. "A wolf is coming! A wolf is coming!" all the cats were yowling the same thing, running in circles.
Claw reader shot out of his den. "Everyone calm! Into the small caves and stay still!" Pearl headed for the nearest cave, but Claw Reader stopped her. "We need fighters, and you would be no loss to the tribe if you die, so you must fight!" he hissedd at her.
Pearl was about to argue, but the Wolf charged into the cave. She squealed and hid inside Claw reader's den when he was distracted. She watched a bloody battle, where Sun was killed and Silver was injured alogn with many other cats. When the wolf fled, Claw Reader found Pearl.
"You must be punished!" he hissed. "You will become a Prey-Hunter, and you will not eat until you bring back 20 mice and 20 rabbits!" He chased Pearl out of the cave, and Pearl high-tailed away.
Pearl wouldn't come back. She caught several mice, but she ate them herself. She hunted all over the tribe's territory, then she ran off to find somehwere else to live.
She soon found another cat's territory. A golden she-cat with white paws, chest, and muzzle found her, hungry, in her territory and chased her away. Pearl sat down and cried. Would she ever find a place to live? Then an idea struck her. She would be a kittypet!
Pearl raced through Twolegplace, looking for a house with a big garden. She found one with a beautiful garden, and she jumped the fence and scratched at the door. A female twoleg opened it.
"Mangy stray!" it yowled. It threw a metal-thing at Pearl and she ran away. The same thing happened at the next house, and the next.
"I don't know why they don't like you." came a sudden voice. "They give me food all the time."
Pearl flipped around to find a tortiseshell she-cat laying on a fence above her head. Her fur was patchy and her pelt was littered with scars. "Who are you?" Pearl asked.
"My name is Rags." the she-cat mewed, flicking her tail and turning her head to the skies. "Well, at least that's what most twolegs call me. Some others call me Patchy. Others call me by names such as Sky, Gray, Muddy, Scrabby, and other names. But I just have cats call me One of Many Names. Oomn for short."
"Well, can I call you Oomn?" Pearl asked.
"If you tell me your name." Oomn mewed, turning her gaze back on Pearl.
"My name is Pearl in Murky Waters." Pearl stammered.
"That name's too long. You gotta get a smaller name." Oomn meowed. "
"Pearl for short." Pearl added.
"Now that's better." Oomn meowed. She leaped down from the fence and padded over to Pearl. Pearl was surprised that Oomn didn't attack her.
"Don't you think I'm evil?" Pearl asked, eyes wide.
"'course." Oomn mewed, sitting down in front of her and licking her paw. "But I've seen eviler. So, what brings you to Twolegplace?"
"I wanted to become a Kittypet." Pearl mumbled, staring at her paws. "No rouge, tribe, or clan wants me."
"That's odd." Oomn mewed, as if to herself. "Did you do anything that seemed evil?"
Pearl explained all that had happened since SplashClan. "And no cat has wanted me since." she finished.
"Well, there's a nearby clan." Oomn meowed. "If I bring you, then they might trust you. At least, at first." she added.
Pearl perked her ears. "Really? I would love to have a clan!"
"First, let's get the food!" Oomn jumped the fence to the Twoleg's den. The twoleg opened the door, petted Oomn, and set a bowl of food on the doorstep. Pearl rushed up and joined Oomn in eating. When they finished, they set off into a forest at the edge of the Twolegplace.
Pearl heard the fight from far away. Her paws were pounding as she raced towards the sound. She emerged into a clearing, evidentally the clan's camp, and found herself face-to-face with a huge dog. She saw the cats of the clan leaping at the wolf and clawing and hissing. There were dead cats littering the ground, including one huge golden tom.
Pearl saw immediatley that they were losing the battle. She called to mind how the Tribe had chased off the wolf in the cave. She leaped at the dog, slicing it's muzzle as she flew over it's head. She landed square on it's back and bit hard into it's spine. The dog let out a scream of pain and bolted. Pearl jumped off and landed in the middle of the camp.
Pearl nodded at the nearest cat that looked strong. "You'd better follow that dog and make sure he doesn't turn back." the cat took off, too surprised by Pearl's appearance to be offended by being ordered around by a random cat.
Pearl saw the cats gathering around the dead golden tom. "Our deputy is dead!" one yowled, voice full of grief.
"Lionstar!" one called.
"He's in the medicine den." another called. "He's been hurt badly!"
Pearl raced to the medicine cat den. There a yellowish-golden tom was laying, coughing up blood. "Who are you?" the medicine cat asked.
"I'm Pearl. I chased off the dog." Pearl answered. "Is you leader going to be okay?"
"He'll be fine... i hope." the medicien cat added. "My name is Chipear." she showed Pearl her right ear, which was chipped badly.
"I used to know a clan cat with the same name." Pearl meowed, lost in memories for a moment. She turned and padded back into the camp to find the clan waiting for her.
"She was sent by StarClan to save us!" one of them called.
"StarClan sent Pearl to save us!' another one called. Pearl opened her mouth t tell them the truth,, but the words wouldn't come out. She looked around the clearing, and saw Oomn sitting off in the corner. Pearl turned and saw the leader, Lionstar, padding from the medicine cat den.
"They're right. he meowed. "You were sent by starClan. We need a new deputy, too." he leaped to the top of a huge rock, Chipear following him and meowing that he should stop and rest. "I say these words before the body of Goldmoss, in hope that he will hear and approve my choice. Pearlfeather is the new deputy." he leaped down and touched Pearl's, now Pearlfeather, shoulder.
"Pearlfeather! Pearlfeather!" the clan cheered.
Pearlfeather purred as she padded to the elder's den to visit Ooomn a moon later. Oomn had joined as a clan elder, and she was Pearlfeather's best friend. The clan didn't like her, like all the other clan, for the glory of her victory had worn off.
"'ello, Pearly." Oomn meowed in greeting. A group of kits were at her paws, waiting to hear the story she was telling of a fight with rouge cats for territory.
"Hello, Oomn." Pearlfeather greeted the elder.
"Ya know, Lionstar wanted to see you." Oomn meowed, flicking her tail at the leader's den.
Pearlfeather nodded and raced across the clearing to Lionstar's den. "Lionstar?" she called. She slipped inside and waited for Lionstar to speak.
"I'm leaving." Lionstar meowed.
- "What?!" Pearlfeather exclaimed.
"You must lead Thunderclan now." he went on, ignoring her
"Where are you going?" Pearlfeather asked.
"I'm leaving., that's all I'm going to say. I'm not coming back. goodbye, Pearlfeather." Lionstar touched her head with his nose. "I know I can trust you to lead ThunderClan."
Pearlfeather stood among StarClan, earning her lives. She shivered as she got her 8th life, then she saw Blackcloud step forward. "I'm sorry I was so mean to you." Blackcloud ccried to her kit. "I'm so sorry. I love you Pearlfeather."
"I love you too, mother." Pearlfeather rmeowed, licking her mother's pelt.
"With this life I give you hope, to never give up and to keep looking forward." Blackcloud meowed, touching her nose.
Then a black tom stepped forward. "I'm Hollystar, former leader of SplashClan." He meowed to her. "I give you your leader name, Pearlstar." He touched Pearlstar's shoulder. "And I remove your curse."
Pearlstar smiled as she woke up next to the Moonstone. She stood and headed back to her clan, she was finally accepted.
Seasons later, Pearlstar stood ontop of Highrock, gazing down on her clan. She watched Pinekit, a reddish-brown tom, scramble out of the nursery and his mother followed. She gazed down at her own kits, Moonpaw and Forestpaw, sitting in the clearing and sharing tongues with the other apprentices. Her job was done. She had finally been accepted. She had a place to Belong.