|"I'm a Clan cat. I have to go home."|
|— Crookedkit to Fleck and Mitzi in Crookedstar's Promise, page 105|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eight of Crookedstar's Promise. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 8 (of 40)
- Page Numbers: 95-106
- Crookedkit finds himself in a dark and eerie forest, with Mapleshade glaring at him while angrily pointing out that he has been away from RiverClan for an entire moon. He is doubtful that the Clan misses him, believing that they would be glad to get rid of such a useless warrior. Mapleshade tries to tell him that he isn't useless, and Crookedkit insists that he knows, and think about how he hunts every day on the farm and helps look after Mitzi's kits. He also thinks about how Fleck doesn't care about his lack of an apprentice name and still taught him how to catch mice, how to watch the kits, and how to watch out for monsters that ran off the Thunderpath. He believes that this would mean nothing to his Clanmates, however, and Mapleshade tells him that he must prove himself to them. Crookedkit asks in a hiss why he should since they stopped believing in him, and Mapleshade argues that every warrior must prove themselves and that he must go home as his destiny lies with his Clan.
- Crookedkit decides that he will go back when he is big enough and strong enough to be an apprentice, and Mapleshade insists that he's big enough already after eating so many mice. Briefly Crookedkit thinks about how he misses the river but then remembers how much he likes being needed on the farm and how Magpie and Mist look up to him, wondering if maybe his great destiny lied at the farm instead.
- Crookedkit wakes up after Mapleshade tells him again that he must prove himself as a RiverClan cat before they begin to call him a loner instead. He nudges Fleck awake, saying that he can smell mice a Fleck tells him he should wait for harvest time, as that's when the mice really start to run. Crookedkit licks his lips and tells Fleck he found a new mouse nest yesterday, and they go to find the nest together. They find it, and Fleck points out that they'll have to wait for the mice to come to them. Fleck's whiskers quiver and he asks if Crookedkit really can wait, saying that while he may have grown the past moon he's still as impatient as a kit. Crookedkit stubbornly crouches besides the nettles while Fleck goes to see if he can find anything behind the wood store.
- Crookedkit shifts his paws as Fleck pads away and disappears around the corner. He convinces himself that he can wait and flicks his tail, staring at the nettles with his ears pricked and his whiskers stiff. He waits for movement, but nothing stirs. He curls and uncurls his claws, then tastes the air to see if there is any mouse scent, but there is none. An itch makes his tail quiver and he tries to ignore it, but it becomes unbearable and he twists and nibbles at it. He assumes the hole is empty, and he stares at the corner where Fleck had disappeared.
- He thinks about the wood store, alive with mice, so the loner tom might need help. Glancing back at the nettles, Crookedkit decides to gather them later, and trots around the corner, crossing the open space. As the brown tabby tom reaches the store, Fleck comments that it didn't take him long, then asks if he had any luck catching mice. Crookedkit responds that the prey had gone; the orange loner doesn't move his gaze away as he tells the young tom he can help. Fleck adds that he can hear the mice, but cannot see them.
- Crookedkit gazes into the darkness, then up at the top of the woodpile, saying that he's got an idea, leaping up, crossing the clearing, and clings to the logs. The wood shifts beneath his paws, and he hears a squeak, but doesn't stop, clawing his way to the top and looking down at Fleck. The plump ginger tom had caught a mouse, and he lays it beside him, calling up to Crookedkit, requesting that he shift the logs again. The light brown tabby leaps across the stretch of wood, landing as heavily as he can, feeling the pile shift beneath his weight.
- A mouse shoots from the logs, but Fleck catches it with a paw. Crookedkit pricks his ears, listening to the sound of mice scrabbling around on the wood. He focuses on the sound, then drops down, pressing his stomach against the logs as he reaches down and catches a mouse from the darkness. Crookedkit kills the small creature with a nip from his back teeth, then calls down that he has one, suggesting they bring their haul to Mitzi. Fleck reminds the tabby tom about the restless kits, and Crookedkit remembers how big they've been growing, and their drive to explore around.
- He picks up his catch, and leaps down from the woodpile, saying that he'll like to take the kits for a walk to the ditch if Mitzi approves. Fleck watches the brown tabby, asking if he misses his kin. Crookedkit drops his mice, meeting the loner's gaze, answering that he does, but RiverClan doesn't need him like Mitzi, Soot, Piper, Magpie, and Mist do. Fleck begins talking, but before he can finish, Crookedkit grabs his catch and runs off and out of the wood store, not giving him a chance to finish.
- The ginger tom catches up to the young tom, causing him to look at Fleck nervously and wonder if he'll ask him to leave. However all the farm cat does say is how nice the day is, the mice tails muffling his voice. Crookedkit's body feels weak with relief, reassuring himself that he is needed at the farm. Sunshine glares on the farm tracks as the two toms head for the cornfield. The hill crest cuts into cloudless blue skies, and hedgerows spill over the verges. The corn looks dull, and dusty.
- As Crookedkit looks on, he hears a strange noise disturbing the air. The glossy brown tom drops his mouse, staring down the track, and asks Fleck what the rumbling noise is, since it comes from the distance. The ginger tom halts, nose twitching, replying that it must be a farm monster working; Crookedkit points out all the monsters are sleeping, causing Fleck to drop his mice and call out that it's a harvest. He races away, pelt spiking, and the young tabby follows, paw pads prickling nervously as he catches the scent of fear in Fleck's wake.
- He yowls, asking what a harvest is, and the ginger loner calls back that the Twolegs are cutting the corn. Horror grips Crookedkit as he shoots after his friend, and skids to a halt after the plump farm cat stops abruptly at the field's edge. A huge scarlet-colored monster plows through the corn, sucking up the golden stems, all the while spewing lumps from its hindquarters. Fleck wails Mitzi's name, and Crookedkit charges forward, haring down the path, then leaping the ditch in one jump.
- The brown tabby races through the hedge, and bursts into the corn, Fleck right on his heels. The monster rumbles toward them, heading for Mitzi's nest; Crookedkit hears mewling as he approaches the hollow, and explodes through the corn to find Mitzi standing up, holding Piper in her teeth. Magpie wails that the monster is coming, and Fleck frantically asks where the other kits are. The queen tucks Piper between her paws, telling Fleck she hid Mist in the ditch, but Soot ran off into the corn, eyes glittering with terror.
- Crookedkit offers to find Soot, glancing at the advancing monster as it rumbles onward. Fleck picks up Magpie, while she mewls, but when Crookedkit asks which way Soot went, Mitzi doesn't know. Magpie, however, does and points with one paw into the corn. The light brown tom dives into the stems, nose twitching, and sneezes as dust fills his mouth. The stench of monster, its rumble a roar now as it draws closer, tearing up the corn.
- Crookedkit calls Soot's name, pricking his ears, but flattens them as the monster roars by, blasting his fur. Opening his jaws, he tastes the air, and catches a faint smell of the black kit, so he plunges deeper into the corn stalks, and with a rush of hope, the loner spots a track in the stems. He follows it, heart pounding, picking up more of Soot's scent, but now her trail is laced with fear, and he weaves onward. The monster howls loudly, so loud Crookedkit can only hear the blood pounding through his ears, and he glances up, gasping. The blood red monster looms down over him, giant claws swirling as it sucks up the torn off corn stems.
- Soot's squeal shrills as she calls for help, with the monster bearing down upon the black kit with a roar. Breathing fast, Crookedkit's pelt bushes as he makes a leap, soaring through the air. Landing beside the young she-cat, he grabs her scruff, then hares off into the corn; stalks whip against his face, and blood wells on his muzzle. The young tom fights panic at the sound of the monster so close, and he leaps again, Soot pressing against his chest. Crookedkit tumbles to a halt, clear of the red monster.
- He lays on the ground for a moment, trembling, before releasing Soot. The ground rumbles as the monster roars away, and paw steps crunch over the corn stalks. Fleck ducks beside them, asking if Crookedkit is okay, eyes wide. The brown tom pants as he confirms all is well, telling Fleck to take Soot out to the ditch before the monster returns, and the ginger tom asks if it hurt him as he staggers to his paws. Crookedkit licks the blood off his nose, answering that it didn't, his voice merely a breath.
- Soot wriggles in Fleck's jaws, squeaking that the brown tom saved her, but he doesn't share her happiness, instead frowning at her and saying that she should stay close to Mitzi next time. Crookedkit follows Fleck back to Mitzi, and spots the queen with her kits, and she purrs upon seeing Soot safe and well. The ginger tom places the kit at Mitzi's paws, informing her that Crookedkit saved Soot in time. The black she-cat's eyes glow as he stares at the young brown tabby, whispering that he saved her kit, but he is shaking too hard to reply.
- Mitzi licks the blood off Crookedkit's bleeding muzzle, stating that he is a warrior, but Fleck grunts that he could've died. The lean tom looks back at the monster still creeping through the cornfield, imagining something similar threating RiverClan, and he murmurs that he needs to go home. Fleck assures Crookedkit he's safe now, because the monster won't cross the hedge. The young tom swallows, replying that he isn't running away, since he's tired of doing such. He knows in his head his destiny isn't to be a farm cat, but to be a warrior, and he doesn't care what his Clanmates think: if he's too small or ugly.
- He dips his head to his friends, promising to never forget them, and finds it hard to swallow with the kits staring at him with round eyes. Crookedkit explains that he wishes he can stay, but he doesn't belong, seeing how Mitzi and Fleck equally struggle to understand. The young tabby whispers that he's a Clan cat, and he needs to return to RiverClan.
- He is mistakenly called Crookedpaw.
Notes and references
|Crookedstar's Promise 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 • Chapter 26 • Chapter 27 • Chapter 28 • Chapter 29 • Chapter 30 • Chapter 31 • Chapter 32 • Chapter 33 • Chapter 34 • Chapter 35 • Chapter 36 • Chapter 37 • Chapter 38 • Chapter 39 • Chapter 40 • Manga|
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