|"Why chase me now? You made your choice."|
|— Needletail to Violetpaw in Darkest Night, page 43|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter three of Darkest Night. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 3 (of 23)
- Page Numbers: 42-54
- Violetpaw is dreaming. Ferns are trembling in a moonlit clearing hide in the forest. This is the place where Alderheart and Needletail brought her and Twigpaw to meet when they were kits. She hears a muffled squeak and the brush of fur on leaves and purrs softly to herself, wondering if Twigpaw knows that she was making more noise than anything else in the forest. Violetpaw stealthily crosses the shallow dip in the forest floor, silently making her way to the ferns.
- The ferns quiver as she approaches, pricking her ears, she hears Twigpaw's breathing. To herself, she silently states that ThunderClan cats are bad at hide-and-seek. She was never sure if she had fit in at ShadowClan, but they had taught her to move as silently as moonlight. The black and white apprentice stops at the ferns, her heart quickening. She can hear her sister trying to swallow a purr, and not succeeding. Violetpaw pauses, relishing her triumph, and in a moment, she would dive into thick foliage and Twigpaw a surprise.
- A rush of gratitude rushes through her chest, and she silently thanks Needletail for bringing her to the clearing. As she thinks of the silver she-cat, she sees her tail snaking between the trees. Forgetting her game, she calls to her friend, telling her to wait. She races after the silver coat, but Needletail keeps moving, her pelt like starlight. Violetpaw tells her to wait again and she wants to talk to her, but Needletail keeps running. The silver she-cat is moving effortlessly, while Violetpaw's lungs are burning and her paws trip over roots.
- Violetpaw struggles on, her limbs heavy and the air seeming to thicken, meanwhile, Needletail keeps darting ahead like a fish. Violetpaw pleads her to wait once more, and at last, Needletail pauses and Violetpaw sees her green eyes flash in the shadows. Needletail's meow is cold and mocking as she asks why Violetpaw was chasing her now, since she had already made her choice. Dread surges through Violetpaw, which jolts her awake, she exclaims that she didn't make that choice.
- A voice sounds behind her, asking if Violetpaw is okay. Still half-dreaming, Violetpaw still smells Needletail's scent and says that she never wanted to lose Needletail. The voice sounds again, saying to wake up and she is dreaming. Violetpaw exclaims that it was never a choice. Her own mew surprises her, and she lifts her head and opens her eyes to find herself in the temporary den she had made with Hawkwing and Twigpaw. She can feel the warmth of their bodies, as darkness swathed the den and she realizes it is the middle of the night.
- Hawkwing is blinking at her, stating that Violetpaw was dreaming. Dragging her thoughts from her dream and blinking back at him, she realizes she is with her whole family as Twigpaw snores, lost in sleep. Violetpaw is still surprised Twigpaw came to SkyClan, as she always had felt comfortable there. Concern shadows Hawkwing's round eyes, and he asks Violetpaw if she is okay, and if she had a bad dream. Violetpaw shifts in her nest, not wanting to explain; she responds that it wasn't bad, just weird.
- Hawkwing frowns, asking her if she is sure. Violetpaw says she is, before resting her muzzle on her paws and closing her eyes. As soon as she did, an image of Needletail flashes in her thoughts. Violetpaw has a flashback. Panic spikes her pelt like burning splinters as she watches Needletail in the river, Needletail struggling beneath his paws as Darktail holds her beneath the water. The rogue stares blankly at Violetpaw, saying that she may be right, and he should give Needletail another chance. He asks for her opinion.
- Violetpaw says yes, and she remembers the dumb relief she had felt. She says she will do anything he wants. Grief twists her heart, and she silently says to herself, it wouldn't have happened if she had tried harder. Horror pulses through her paws and she feels like she wants to run so that the chilly air wash the memory away, but she can't let her father see the pain, as she had not told him the story about Needletail. Violetpaw isn't sure if she wants to tell him, as she wonders if he would want anything to do with her after he learns that she let Needletail die.
- The next morning, Twigpaw, Violetpaw, and Hawkwing are sitting in the clearing. Twigpaw brings a mouse to Violetpaw, and the black-and-white she-cat thanks her sister. She sniffs the mouse, which smells stale. Hawkwing stretches beside her in the dawn light, yawning. Violetpaw feels a flash of guilt and apologizes for waking him up the night before. Hawkwing says it is okay before sitting down and nodding thanks to Twigpaw, who had brought him a vole. He states he fell back to sleep quickly afterward.
- Twigpaw drops her own mouse and settles down beside them, asking what happened and if Violetpaw woke up last night. Hawkwing replies that she had a bad dream. Violetpaw repeats that it was not a bad dream, just weird, trying to make herself believe it. Hawkwing meows that she seemed pretty upset. Wanting to change the subject, Violetpaw says it doesn't matter. Twigpaw takes a bite of her mouse, saying that Violetpaw is always sensitive.
- Around the three cats, SkyClan has wakened. Fallowfern is sharing tongues with Bellaleaf and Blossomheart was showing Finpaw a hunting crouch. When Blossomheart sees Violetpaw and Twigpaw she nods, Violetpaw nods back quietly before returning her gaze to the mouse she was eating. She knows that Blossomheart is her kin and she is kind to her, but Violetpaw doesn't feel comfortable around any cat beside Hawkwing and Twigpaw.
- Leafstar rummages through the fresh-kill-pile as it was still well stocked from the day before. Three sunrises have passed since the SkyClan cats had left the ThunderClan camp and SkyClan has made progress building their new camp. Leafstar had picked out a small clearing where pine trees open to let a narrow stream cut through. Needletail had shown this clearing to Violetpaw many moons ago.
- Soft green moss grows over the rocks, ferns make natural walls, but Leafstar still wants to reinforce them with brambles. The Clan leader has already chosen a low-growing juniper for a den, and a bramble thicket would be the nursery, which Macgyver and Sparrowpelt were working on. Tinycloud has already made a nest inside for herself and her future kits. Leafstar's den is a hollow in an old cedar tree at the far end of camp, where its entrance was at the top of a tangle of roots. The space below forms a natural cave, perfect for a medicine cat den.
- Violetpaw bites into her mouse, stung by her sister's words. Twigpaw had not meant that meanly, but it feels like criticism to Violetpaw, and she prickles with resentment. She silently thinks about how Twigpaw was raised by cats that wanted her, and maybe would be more sensitive if she was raised in ShadowClan. Twigpaw looks up from her mouse, asking what Violetpaw's dream was about. Violetpaw avoids her gaze, saying it was nothing. Hawkwing softly mews to Twigpaw let Violetpaw be.
- Twigpaw responds that it has to be something if it woke both Violetpaw and Hawkwing up and she wants to know what, taking another bite of her mouse and staring at Violetpaw inquisitively. Violetpaw stares at her mouse, saying it was about Needletail. Twigpaw explains to Hawkwing that Needletail was Violetpaw's friend that got killed by Darktail, Violetpaw shudders at these words. Hawkwing rests her tail over Violetpaw's, saying that everyone has lost someone, gazing sympathetically into her eyes. He says to not feel alone in grief since everyone has suffered the past moons. He nods toward Macgyver, raising his voice so the tom could hear.
- Macgyver turns from his work to meet the deputy's gaze, and he responds that it is true enough. He glances at Blossomheart, and the look seems to flit around the camp, passing from one cat to the next, making them pause and grow solemn. Leafstar straightens by the fresh-kill-pile and admits that SkyClan is not the Clan it used to be. She then says that after SkyClan settles, she will send a patrol to the gorge to look for lost Clanmates.
- Blossomheart agrees, saying there must be more SkyClan cats alive. Tinycloud pads from the stream, saying that once her kits are born, the Clan will seem more like its old self. Hawkwing purrs, saying it will be good to have kits running around. This brings Twigpaw to ask Hawkwing if he wonders what she and Violetpaw looked like as kits. Hawkwing's eyes glaze wistfully as he responds that he does every day. Twigpaw then asks if he misses Pebbleshine. Violetpaw glares at her, wondering if all ThunderClan cats were insensitive. The gray she-cat does not seem to notice her stare, as she blinks and awaits an answer.
- Hawkwing's mew was husky as he says he does. Violetpaw winces, feeling his grief. Hawkwing says that she was kind and warm and that he loved her very much. Twigpaw asks if he will tell her about Pebbleshine. Stepping in, Violetpaw says he will when he is ready. Hawkwing glances gratefully at Violetpaw and says it's okay, and that he is happy to talk about her mother. Violetpaw drops her gaze, wondering if he really meant that. She was curious about her mother that died before she opened her eyes. Violetpaw wishes she could remember Pebbleshine, but she has no real shape in her thoughts, she can't even remember her scent.
- Twigpaw jumps to her paws, saying that he can tell us about Pebbleshine while they are hunting, glancing eagerly towards the fern tunnel, exclaiming that she has many questions. Hawkwing purrs fondly, saying to let him finish his vole, before glancing at Violetpaw, who was halfway done with her mouse. He says that they'd better hurry up or Twigpaw will leave without them. Twigpaw blinks at him, and earnestly says she would never leave without Hawkwing.
- Hawkwing soothes her, saying that he was just teasing. Violetpaw gulps down her mouse and silently hopes that hunting will make Twigpaw forget all of her questions. Hawkwing finishes his vole, and they go out of camp. The land Rowanstar gave SkyClan runs half the length of the ThunderClan border and reaches down like a paw to the lake. SkyClan has a small stretch of shore, but their land grows wider as it reaches into the pine forest.
- Twigpaw trots ahead, her tail high, Violetpaw recalls how she told Rowanstar that she wants to leave ShadowClan and become a SkyClan cat. Rowanstar had been standing by the lake while the SkyClan cats marked the borders of their new home. Rowanstar looks at Violetpaw, saying that he understands when Violetpaw says she wants to join SkyClan. His gaze betrays little, and Violetpaw wonders if he was sad to lose her, or simply unsurprised she wants to leave.
- Violetpaw explains she wants to be with her kin, but will always be grateful for ShadowClan for taking her in. As she speaks, Violetpaw feels a flash of guilt, she was not grateful for ShadowClan taking her in and she wishes they would have never separated her from Twigpaw. But maybe they had meant well, maybe she never got a chance to see the real ShadowClan-the Clan before the rogues came. Rowanstar dips his head, saying he respects her decision, before padding away and leaving Violetpaw alone in the chilly wind.
- Violetpaw thinks he is angry that she abandoned her Clan when it was so short on cats, and yet she senses his disappointment was not that great. After all, she had left ShadowClan to live with rogues, and he probably will never trust her again.
- Twigpaw breaks Violetpaw's thoughts by asking which way the ditches are. The ditches are the best place for hunting, as prey likes to run along the gullies. Violetpaw hurries to catch up and nods toward the rise, stating that the ditches were over by the rise. She knew her sister was still finding it hard to naviagte the pine forest. Twigpaw frowns, complaining that all the trees look the same. Violetpaw promises that she'll get used to it and when she is here for a bit longer, Twigpaw will realize that the pines are as different as oak and ash trees.
- Twigpaw looks unconvinced and doubts it. Hawkwing calls from behind the sisters to let Violetpaw lead, as Twigpaw can learn from her. Twigpaw's tail droops as Violetpaw slides past her pads along the rise to where it begins to dip. Violetpaw feels a twinge of guilt, but she can't help it that she knows the territory better than Twigpaw. She guesses that Twigpaw feels self-conscious about being a 'paw, as Twigpaw had passed her assessment in ThunderClan. Violetpaw silently hopes that Leafstar gives Twigpaw a warrior name soon, as she works hard and deserves it.
- Violetpaw tells her sister that the ditches are downslope and to just remember to follow the way water flows. Twigpaw thanks her and falls in beside Hawkwing, changing the subject when she tells Hawkwing he was going to tell her and Violetpaw about Pebbleshine. Violetpaw glances back at her father, trying to read his gaze, wondering if it hurt to talk about his lost mate. She quickens her pace, knowing Twigpaw will be too busy hunting to ask any questions.
- Hawkwing swishes his tail, saying that he will tell Twigpaw about the time she was training. Pebbleshine had only been a moon into her apprenticeship, but it had already been far too long as far as Pebbleshine was concerned. Twigpaw sighs, and says she knows the feeling. Hawkwing goes on, saying she was desperate to impress her mentor, Billystorm and that she had woke up before dawn every day and practiced warrior moves. Billystorm always woke up to find her ambushing pinecones or stalking crickets. Hawkwing purrs fondly at this memory.
- One day, Billystorm made her take a test. She had to find a secret way out of the gorge, catch a rabbit, then head back to camp. But Billystorm would ambush her and try to take the rabbit along the route and Pebbleshine would have to escape., take the rabbit, and race him back to camp. Hawkwing swishes his tail, saying Pebbleshine was excited for a chance to finally impress Billystorm. Hawkwing says he remembers how her fur ruffled as she was looking for a secret way out of camp, Hawkwing's eyes glaze wistfully as he says she seemed so young.
- Violetpaw hears his mew catch in his throat, saying that he doesn't have to tell them the story right now. Twigpaw eagerly mews that he does and she wants to know what happens. He continues, saying that Pebbleshine did everything right, she escaped, caught a rabbit, and used all her warrior moves when Billystorm ambushed her, but she forgot one important thing. Hawkwing pauses teasingly, and Twigpaw demands that he tells them. Hawkwing purrs, saying that she left the rabbit where Billystorm ambushed her, as she had been desperate to beat him back to camp and forgot all about the prey.
- Twigpaw gasps and says she must have been disappointed. Hawkwing tells them to wait and see, and Violetpaw pricks her ears, now keen as Twigpaw to hear what happened. Hawkwing flicks his tail, and continues, Pebbleshine had realized her mistake as soon as she reached the camp, and she knew Billystorm couldn't be far behind. Hawkwing had been waiting at the camp entrance to see how she had done, and when she had seen him, she begged him to help. She told Hawkwing to distract Billystorm by running to a Twoleg nest and climb a tree. Hawkwing had thought she had bees in her brains but did it anyway.
- Hawkwing didn't have to wait long for Billystorm to come racing towards him, his fur on end. He had stopped below a tree, and called up to him, asking if he is alright and Pebbleshine had told him that she thought saw a dog chasing Hawkwing. Twigpaw, sounding horrified, asking if she lied. Hawkwing says she didn't lie exactly since she said she thought there was a dog, and there was one barking nearby, but it did give her enough time to get the rabbit and race back to camp before Billystorm reached it.
- Twigpaw asks if Billystorm was impressed and Hawkwing responds he was, and he let her have first pick from the prey pile that night. Hawkwing's eyes shine affectionately as he says that when Billystorm found out she had used Hawkwing as a decoy, he said that quick-thinking is a good sign of a warrior, and Pebbleshine purred about it for days. Violetpaw glances back at him and realizes talking about Pebbleshine makes him happy even though she was dead. But even when Violetpaw thinks about Needletail, her chest tightens with grief, and she thinks about how she could never talk about Needletail happily, not after what happened to the silver she-cat.
- Violetpaw carries on walking, her paws suddenly heavy when a pelt brushes her side and she hears Hawkwing telling her that he hopes she doesn't mind him talking about Pebbleshine, as he knows she misses her. Violetpaw says she doesn't really remember her and guilty avoids his gaze. Hawkwing's mew was soft as he says that Violetpaw was very young when she lost Pebbleshine. Violetpaw asks if he finds it hard to talk about Pebbleshine, and he responds that he likes to remember her and it is easier since he has found Violetpaw and Twigpaw.
- Hawkwing looks back at Twigpaw, raising his voice so she could hear as he says that Pebbleshine was the kindest and sweetest cat he had ever known, and he misses her every day. He adds that he doesn't feel as sad anymore because he has part of her with him. Twigpaw calls from behind him if she and Violetpaw remind him of Pebbleshine, and Violetpaw feels a rush of irritation at her sister, wondering if she could ever let a moment pass in silence without her questions.
- Hawkwing stops and looks at Twigpaw, saying that she reminds him of Pebbleshine very much. Twigpaw puffs out her chest in happiness as Hawkwing says Twigpaw is just as brave and adventurous as Pebbleshine. Violetpaw swallows back jealousy, wondering if she was brave and adventurous. Hawkwing touches his nose to Violetpaw's ear, saying that she is more like him and that Pebbleshine would have loved both Violetpaw and Twigpaw very much, just as he does.
- Violetpaw holds his gaze, saying nothing. Her grief seems to melt into warmth as she purrs and rubs her muzzle along her father's jaw, and then Twigpaw's. She is suddenly happier than she can imagine possible, and for the first time in life, Violetpaw feels like she belongs.
Refereneces and Citations
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Revealed in Darkest Night, page 42
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Revealed in Darkest Night, page 44
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Revealed in Darkest Night, page 45
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Revealed in Darkest Night, page 46
- ↑ Revealed in Darkest Night, page 48
- ↑ Revealed in Darkest Night, page 49
- ↑ Revealed in Darkest Night, page 51
|Darkest Night 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 • Bonus Scene|
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