|"You have brought me to the Dark Forest. Cats are sent to this place because they are too evil to belong in StarClan. Why would you want to train here?"|
|— Spottedpaw to Thistleclaw in the Place of No Stars in Spottedleaf's Heart, chapter 5|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter five of Spottedleaf's Heart. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 5 (of 10)
- Page Numbers: N/A
- Spottedpaw sits in the clearing, wondering where Thistleclaw will take her later. She idly watches the sun set, thinking about how slowly it’s sinking between the trees. The tortoiseshell apprentice hopes that her denmates won’t find it odd when she goes to her nest early. She watches them play a complicated game of chase, but isn’t interested in joining. It involves circling the tree trunk then jumping over one of the dozing elders in the clearing. Larksong snaps at Willowpaw when the apprentice leaps over her, and Mumblefoot tells her to get away. The younger she-cat seems unfazed, leaping on the tree trunk and declaring her victory. Spottedpaw trots over to the elders, feeling guilty for letting her denmates ruin their peace. She apologizes to the older cats, assuring them that the apprentices will be going to her nest soon. Spottedpaw smooths a piece of fur on Mumblefoot’s head, trying not to wrinkle her nose at his musty smell.
- She spots Goosefeather looking at her, and he beckons her to come closer to him. Spottedpaw edges nearer to the tom, and the old cat peers at her. Goosefeather mutters that she is the one who loves foolishly. She is confused by his words, and asks what he means by that. Goosefeather turns away from her, wriggling to get more comfortable on the ground. He then tells Spottedpaw that her heart is blind, and that it is a lesson she will never learn. The apprentice is frightened, quickly asking what he’s referring to, and what it means. However, Goosefeather falls asleep, and she has to resist the urge to prod him awake. Mumblefoot encourages Spottedpaw to forget whatever the old tom was rambling about, because most have stopped listening to him a long time ago. She acknowledges the elder’s words, but still thinks that since Goosefeather is a medicine cat, he might’ve received a message from StarClan about her. Warm breath tickles her neck as Thistleclaw approaches Spottedpaw. He murmurs that she looks tired, and should probably head to her nest. She looks up unto his eyes, and whispers that she’s just about to go there. Thistleclaw promises to see her later, and Spottedpaw walks back to the apprentices’ den. The tortoiseshell tries to fall asleep, and eventually is able to clear her mind enough to fall into a sea of green, black, and soft, pale gray.
- Later at night, she hears a crack, and is terrified. Spottedpaw realizes that she doesn’t know where she is, not recognizing the misty scenery. She sees Thistleclaw bound in front of of her, and he is glad she came. Spottedpaw is relieved, but when she goes to scent him, the apprentice can’t smell anything. She questions if this is a dream, but he insists that this is real. Thistleclaw beckons her to follow him, and the two cats race through a dark, dank forest. The apprentice has a bad feeling about this place, and notes that it feels like cats are watching her from the shadows. Spottedpaw admits that she’s scared, and the tom insists that she’s safe with him. He says that there’s someone he wants her to meet, and introduces her to a cat named Mapleshade. The she-cat studies Spottedpaw, and comments that she doesn't say much. Mapleshade orders her and Thistleclaw to hurry up, as they're already late.
- They follow the she-cat to a place somewhat like a training hollow. Mapleshade orders Thistleclaw and Houndleap to fight, and Spottedpaw is bewildered that the spiky warrior obliges without complaint, noticing that the tom is acting like a humble apprentice. The tortoiseshell begins to wonder where they really are, as Houndleap looks like a WindClan cat, and another across the clearing seems of RiverClan descent. The two cats viciously fight with each other, claws unsheathed. She calls a warning to Thistleclaw when she sees Houndleap getting the upper hand. However, the warrior doesn’t seem to hear her, and slams his opponent against a tree. Spottedpaw is horrified, realizing that she’s in the Place of No Stars. The apprentice watches Mapleshade cheer the pair on, saying that she wants the forest running with blood. She sees Thistleclaw pummel Houndleap, and decides to gather bracken to stop his bleeding. She returns with some, and presses it against the scrawny tom’s wounds. Spottedpaw asks the bleeding cat why Thistleclaw is here, but the spiky warrior himself approaches from behind. He answers that he’s becoming a better warrior, and she protests that this is evil. Spottedpaw insists that neither of them should be here, because it’s the place for cats too bad for StarClan. Thistleclaw seems to disagree, and she starts to run away from him into the looming forest.
Notes and references
|Spottedleaf's Heart chapters|
|Chapter 1 • Chapter 2 • Chapter 3 • Chapter 4 • Chapter 5 • Chapter 6 • Chapter 7 • Chapter 8 • Chapter 9 • Chapter 10|
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