|"I'll make them understand Fluttering Bird. I'll make them follow their hearts, I promise. We'll be together soon."|
|— Clear Sky's silent promise to Fluttering Bird in A Forest Divided, page 22|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter one of A Forest Divided. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 1 (of 25)
- Page Numbers: 7-22
- Clear Sky wakes up and stretches his forepaws. He looks over his nest and a biting wind instantly stings his eyes and ear tips. Even the root that usually shelters him from the conditions hadn't protected him. He gazes across the clearing and sees Quick Water crossing the clearing with a shriveled mouse hanging from her jaws. Birch and Alder peek out from their nest that their deceased foster mother Petal had made them.
- The kits' own mother had been killed by Clear Sky himself. Then Petal dies by a deadly unknown sickness. Birch and Alder nearly die themselves, but were saved by the Blazing Star. Clear Sky feels a pang of grief as he thinks about the herb, and he wishes Star Flower had told them about it sooner. Birch eagerly asks Quick Water if the mouse was for them, and Alder dips her head and says that she could also tell them where they found it, and they could catch their own.
- Quick Water refuses, telling them not to be squirrel-brained. She drops the mouse at their paws and tells the kits they could share the mouse and hunt later. Alder and Birch nod gratefully, and Clear Sky feels a prickle of worry as the three cats share the skinny piece of prey. The sickness had killed much of the prey in it, and the forest was eerily silent, even for leaf-bare. He shakes his fur and hops out of his nest.
- Earlier, he had returned from wandering in the territory, and returned to camp, weary from the cold. He still remembers the dream that took place in his sleep, and that Fluttering Bird wanted the cats to join together. She wanted them to be like the petals of the Blazing Star, and Clear Sky is sure of it. He knows that the moor cats would freeze to death without help, and they would all be safer under the trees. Clear Sky knows that he must tell the moor cats, but he doesn't know if they already figured it out. For the first time, he wonders what the other spirit cats had told the others. Hope flickers in his belly, and he wonders if they were ready to unite.
- He slides out of his den and pads across the frozen earth. Pink Eyes is crouching in the shelter of a holly bush, squinting his eyes against the gusts of wind. Specks of snow cling to his fur, and he tucks his paws in tighter underneath him. Clear Sky nods, asking him if he knows where Blossom is. Clear Sky remembers the old tom with the tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat not long after the battle with One Eye. Pink Eyes tells him that Blossom is still sleeping, and flicks his muzzle to the holly bush. He can make out her pelt, and Clear Sky knows once she was awake, she will be skittish and full of energy.
- Clear Sky remembers when he had first met Blossom. The she-cat had been leaping at a dead leaf while Pink Eyes lay a few tail-lengths away with two mice. He had stood when he saw Clear Sky, and before he could challenge Pink Eyes, the white tom asked him if he could join Clear Sky's group. He remembers when there had been a time where Clear Sky would have chased them off, especially Pink Eyes, who had poor eyesight. But the two cats had respected his borders and kept their hackles down, and Clear Sky had learned friends were better than foes.The two cats had joined the group, and Clear Sky is soon to be glad that they had. Pink Eyes sense of smell made up for his poor eyesight, and he could smell a rabbit in a patch of wild garlic.
- Alder looks up from her meal, her fur prickling where snowflakes settle along her spine. She licks her lips, and her gaze flashes towards Pink Eyes twitching tail. Clear Sky sees mischief light her eyes, and she lunges for the white tom's tail, pummeling it playfully with her hind paws. Pink Eyes turns and angrily tells her to chase her own tail. Alder innocently responds that she is not a dog, and Pink Eyes responds that his tail is not prey as he marches away.
- The brambles at the far side of camp rattle as Nettle, Acorn Fur, and Leaf pad through the entrance. A battered starling hangs from her jaws and so does a scrawny squirrel from Leaf's. Nettle pads past his Clanmates, and comments to Clear Sky about prey being so scarce, and how he doesn't know how the group will make it to newleaf. Anxiety worms in Clear Sky's belly. Alder and Birch's mouse they had shared clearly didn't fill their bellies, and Clear Sky silently pleads that the group survives.
- Clear Sky gazes through the trees, and he wonders if there was more prey on the moor, and suddenly the borders he had fought for so many moons trap him. Clear Sky silently knows that the groups need to share what they have and not guard it like Fluttering Bird had said. He turns to Nettle and announces that he is going to Gray Wing's camp. Nettle's ears twitch and he asks why, and Clear Sky says he wants to visit Jagged Peak's and Holly's kits.
- Nettle points out that the weather is closing in, and he points out that there will be heavy snow and a lot of wind. Clear Sky interrupts him, reminding him that he comes from the mountains. Nettle shrugs, saying that it is his own pelt and glances across the clearing where Blossom is sliding out of the holly bush. Blossom brightly asks if there is prey and her gaze swivels towards Acorn Fur. Acorn Fur drops her starling and states that they can share.
- Leaf lays his squirrel on the ground, cheerfully saying that it will do for now, but Clear Sky sees worry darkening his eyes. The sooner he persuades the cats that they have to work together, the better. Clear Sky heads towards the gap in the brambles, and tells the rest of the group that they make sure Pink Eyes gets some prey, or else he will be grouchy from his empty belly. He shoots a teasing look at the tom, who stiffly stares ahead, pretending not to hear a word.
- Blossom offers Pink Eyes to share a squirrel, and he grudgingly replies that he will have a bite. Clear Sky purrs before slipping through the camp entrance. Outside of camp, the wind is brisk, and the branches of trees swished above Clear Sky's head. He opens his mouth, tasting the air and finds that a heavy snowfall is on its way. He hurries towards the border; the sooner he gets to the moor cats camp, the better.
- He follows the ridge till it dips down, then leaps over a fallen tree and climbs the slope beyond. Bare brambles lay across Clear Sky's path, and he is careful where to put his paws. Ferns had withered a long time, but Clear Sky smells a hint of greenleaf in them. He reaches a patch of stiff bracken and pushes through it, narrowing his eyes against the light as he nears the edge of the forest. He breaks away from the trees, ducking instinctively as his paws hit the moor grass.
- The icy wind streams through Clear Sky's whiskers and he flattens his ears. The tom glances one way, then the other, tasting the air for any signs of danger. Dog scent clings to the grass, but it is stale and Clear Sky continues to cross the swath of ferns and begin to climb the rough grass. He pauses near a stunted thorn tree; beneath it a mound of dirt where One Eye's grave was located. Snow fleck the soil, and thrushes sing in the branches above.
- Clear Sky bitterly remembers Star Flower's last words, where she said that One Eye was a true ray of light. Clear Sky still can't believe that she betrayed Thunder for her father. As Clear Sky zigzags his way along a rabbit trail the wind picks up and the heather starts to sway. The heather gave way to a grassy slope, and Clear Sky saw the dip in the hillside where the moor cats' camp lay.
- Clear Sky quickens his pace as snowflakes start to fall thicker now, but movement in the grass ahead makes him freeze. He instantly knows its prey as a small rabbit hops toward the heather. Clear Sky drops into a crouch and pricks his ear, excitement surging through his body as he sees the rabbit. His tail twitches, and he waggles his hindquarters, preparing to pounce. Suddenly, the rabbit looks up and blinks, before bolting towards the heather. Clear Sky bolts after it, slowly closing in on the prey. As soon as he was close enough, he leaps. Landing squarely on his prey, Clear Sky quickly bit into its neck, snapping the rabbit's spine.
- Clear Sky's mouth waters as fresh blood goes into his mouth, and the tom sits up and licks his lips. He wonders whether to take the rabbit for his own cats or take it as a present for Jagged Peak and Holly. He glances at the hollow where the moor cats live, and he thinks how the moor cats may have a greater need for prey. He then grabs the rabbit's scruff and carries it up the slope.
- As Clear Sky nears the camp, he scans the gorse wall, looking for Tall Shadow since she usually watches from her rock, scanning the moor. He pricks his ears, wondering if the weather had forced them into their tunnels. But, he then heard Thunder's mew, saying that they should wait for the snow to pass to hunt. Gray Wing argues, saying that it might last a few days. Thunder then tells him to worry about it when it happens.
- Clear Sky noses his way through the camp entrance, and Gray Wing asks what he is doing here, clearly surprised. Clear Sky drops his catch, telling his brother he wanted to visit Jagged Peak and Holly's kits. As the kits tumble across the grass on the far side of camp, he lets out a purr but is interrupted by Thunder, who asks him if he caught the rabbit on their land. Clear Sky blinks, wondering how they could be so close, but now so far from each other. He replies that he brought it for his little brother and mate.
- A brown tom-kit lets out a squeak, telling his littermates he is the fastest, before struggling away from them and racing towards Jagged Peak. A tabby she-cat races after him, saying that she is the fastest. Her pelt looks like Holly's with white tips on her nose and tail. A third kit trails behind the two, saying to wait for him. The tom-kit reminds Clear Sky of Jagged Peak before his leg was crippled. Holly stops the brown tom kit, who name is Eagle Feather, and drops him behind her. She then calls the other two kits, Storm Pelt and Dew Nose, telling them to get to their nest, since she thinks it is too cold for them.
- Jagged Peak swishes his tail, telling Holly that as long as they move around, they will be warm, and Shattered Ice agrees, saying it will make them strong. A tail-length away, Mud Paws and Lightning Tail share a mouse, but Clear Sky could see bones jutting out from beneath their fur. Mud Paws advises Holly to check their tail tips to see if they are frozen and if they are it is time to stop. Sparrow Fur says to let them have fun, especially if this might be the last time they get to play for awhile.
- Gray Wing kneads the ground with his paws, saying that they should really send out a hunting patrol. Thunder argues that the patrol might get lost in the storm and that Clear Sky brought the rabbit, so the kits won't go hungry. Clear Sky blinks, asking if the kits were already eating prey. Gray Wing replies that they were born the new moon before the last, and Clear Sky surprisingly thinks about how long ago that was.
- Clear Sky catches Gray Wing's eye, and says they have to talk about what they saw in their dream, and asks if Tall Shadow is in camp. Thunder nods toward a stretch of gorse, saying that Pebble Heart is treating a scratch on her paw in Cloud Spot's den. Owl Eyes volunteers to get her, and Clear Sky jerks around, looking at the tom. He exclaims on how he has grown so much, and Owl Eyes replies that Pebble Heart has too. He then stalks over to the den and calls to Tall Shadow, saying Clear Sky is here.
- Tall Shadow knows this, saying that she can smell him, before sliding out of Cloud Spot's den, Pebble Heart following, saying that he will put fresh ointment on her scratch tomorrow. The black she-cat thanks him, and halts beside Clear Sky, asking what he needs. The light gray tom barely hears her; distracted, he gazes around the snowy clearing. Jagged Peak nuzzles Eagle Feather near the edge, while Pebble Heart follows Owl Eyes over the grass. Gray Wing's golden eyes glow proudly as he observes, purring about how Sparrow Fur is like Turtle Tail, and compliments Jagged Peak's fathering skills.
- Clear Sky glances at Thunder, feeling guilty about how he caused him to leave all those moons ago, wondering if his son ever forgave him. He glances back at Jagged Peak, who lets Eagle Feather scramble onto his back, keeping low to the ground, accounting on his younger kin's affection for his kits. Then, his thoughts trail onto how Gray Wing cared for another tom's kits, but he couldn't care for his own son. Cold pierces his fur, but Tall Shadow's sharp mew interrupts his thinking.
- The lithe black she-cat repeats herself, questioning Clear Sky on why he came. The gray tom catches her eye, explaining that he saw her in a dream; Tall Shadow reveals she'd seen him too, and his heart quickens. He leans forward, asking her about what the spirit-cats said. The night-black moor cat explains they told her to cease her thinking, and act, since the groups have delayed it too long. Clear Sky now trembles with excitement, for the spirits had delivered the same message, expressing his belief that they want each group to join together. Tall Shadow stares at him, green eyes wide; Thunder tips his head, curiously asking if Clear Sky heard right.
- Gray Wing snaps at them, reminding them of how they are meant to spread. Clear Sky grows frustrated, thinking the three have misunderstood the message, and explains how together they can survive the harsh weather, and how chances of living are more greater. He lifts his face to the snow, which is beginning to thicken, stating to the cats their spreading is more likely to happen if they ally together. Gray Wing narrows his eyes, telling him about the Blazing Star, and how it has five petals, accounting that for splitting up into five groups. Clear Sky reminds his brother that the groups didn't agree on that motion, then exclaims on how they must join together.
- Tall Shadow twitches her ear, and growls at them, saying how lovely it is now that the two brothers are fighting again. She goes on to tell Clear Sky about how she's going to make her own camp, but the light gray tom protests that she can't, staring at her. His mind races as he wonders what they're talking about, since he believes Fluttering Bird wants the groups together as one. Gray Wing murmurs, admitting that Tall Shadow isn't the only one with a desire to leave. The gray tom jerks toward the dark gray tom, demanding to know what he means. He watches as Gray Wing's gaze drops, before the sleek-furred moor cat admits many don't want to live in the open fields.
- Clear Sky presses them on coming to live with him, wondering why his brother is making it difficult. He explains how sheltered his camp is, and with more cats, comes more fresh-kill and prey. Thunder frowns, reminding his father how he used to want to keep the moor cats away from his territory, and the forest cat meets his son's amber gaze. He accepts how he used to behave, then mentions Fluttering Bird, and how she changed him. Gray Wing interrupts, asking how their younger sister is, his golden eyes lighting up. Clear Sky's body floods with warmth, remembering how his once weak sister looked sleek with the spirit-cats, responding that she's well. Tall Shadows asks what she had said, and when Clear Sky tells her Fluttering Bird said to follow their hearts, she concludes that the kit wants them to split up for their own homes.
- The broad-shoulder tom flexes his claws out of frustration, questioning why their ancestors will want them to split now. He declares they'll make themselves vulnerable, after the sickness had killed nearly all their prey, desperately telling them they need to join together. His pelt grows hot, realizing Gray Wing and Thunder are watching him, but through narrow eyes, and he wonders if they trust him. The gray forest cat flicks his tail at the other cats, half-hidden by the swirling snow, pleading them to come. Thunder growls, and the gesture cuts through Clear Sky's heart; the orange tabby firmly tells his father that cats have died for his borders, and now there's no way to act like nothing happened.
- Clear Sky's voice is hoarse as he asks about the spirit-cats, thinking of how the moor cats are rejecting his plan. Gray Wing meets his brother's blue eyes, coming to the conclusion that their ancestors told them to grow and spread, so it's what they'll do. Thunder jerks his nose for the camp entrance, considering that Clear Sky should go, since nobody will go with him. He coldly adds if he wants more cats to boss around, the gray tom should consider recruiting more strays. Clear Sky swallows, wondering what his son is thinking, and if he thinks he learned nothing from past mistakes.
- Tall Shadow looks into the wind, anxious, with snowflakes whipping against her face. She considers letting him stay until the storm dies; Clear Sky knows he doesn't want to stay, so he shakes his head, and growls, before padding past. He lowers his head, making for the camp entrance. He thinks of his plan to arrive and unite the separate groups, but now feels further away than ever. Clear Sky wonders how he'll explain his failure to Fluttering Bird, believing he let his sister down.
- The gray tom pushes through the gorse, his paws feeling heavy, like stones. He hopes someway he can make Gray Wing's group understand, but carries on, flattening his ears. He pads out into the open, away from the gorse. The wind is strong, snow thick as it buffets his pelt; coldness seems to slice his flesh, and he hunches low. Clear Sky hurries toward the heather, promising quietly to Fluttering Bird he will make the moor cats understand.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 7
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 9
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 10
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 11
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 13
- ↑ Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 14
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 15
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 16
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 17
- ↑ Revealed in A Forest Divided, page 8
|A Forest Divided chapters|
|Prologue • Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10 • Chapter 11 • Chapter 12 • Chapter 13 • Chapter 14 • Chapter 15 • Chapter 16 • Chapter 17 • Chapter 18 • Chapter 19 • Chapter 20 • Chapter 21 • Chapter 22 • Chapter 23 • Chapter 24 • Chapter 25 • Bonus Scene|
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