|"Do you promise? You won't let Moon Shadow die?"|
|— Tall Shadow to Thunder and Jackdaw's Cry in Thunder Rising, page 137|
- Below contains in-depth information for chapter eleven of Thunder Rising. If you are looking for a shorter summary of the entire book, please check the main article.
- Chapter Number: 11 (of 27)
- Page Numbers: 133-139
- Thunder sees that Gray Wing's head is drooping and his breathing is harsh as if he was losing his will to fight. Desperately he looks around, to see that he and his denmates are trapped in a circle of fire. Flames catch onto the grass and spread fast.
- An unfamiliar voice comes from the fiery barrier, calling for the cats to come their way. Thunder peers through the smoke, trying to work out who was calling to him, but he couldn't see any cat. The voice calls for them to jump the flames. Not allowing himself to think, Thunder breaks into a run with Tall Shadow yowling after him. He ignores her and draws closer, just making out beyond the dancing flames the glimmer of water. Relief surges through him as he sees the stream and calls to the others.
- Making a tremendous effort Thunder launches himself high into the air, feeling the heat on the tender skin on his belly as he soars over the flames. He lands in a soft roll on the other side and leaps to his paws. A silvery, long-furred tom is looking down at him. Thunder had never seen this cat before in his life, but he couldn't stop to talk to him. He spins around and calls once more to the others to jump. His heart beats fast and he feels a strange exhilaration come over him, just like the first time Thunder had made a kill. The silver tom pads across to touch noses and Thunder asks who he is. The silver tom answers his name is River Ripple and Thunder did well.
- Thunder barely stays still long enough to enjoy the praise. He remembers Gray Wing telling him about meeting River Ripple beside the river, but until now he had forgotten. He pads up and down beside the flames, calling again to his denmates that it's safe there. Jackdaw's Cry is the first to appear, clearing the flames in a strong leap and landing hard on the other side. Rainswept Flower follows, then Dappled Pelt and Cloud Spots. He dabs irritably at the sparks on his body, and mutters never again. Thunder realizes the fire is beginning to die down as the collapsed tree burned out.
- Peering through the flames and smoke, Thunder spots Gray Wing, Tall Shadow, and Moon Shadow hesitating on the other side. He calls out to them to take a long run up and leap into the air as if they were catching a bird. Tall Shadow snarls in reply Moon Shadow can't make it, and Thunder anxiously asks himself what they're going to do. Jackdaw's Cry pads up beside Thunder, and he meows at Gray Wing that he can jump and then they'll work out how to help Moon Shadow. The smoke from the forest is growing thicker and thicker, almost hiding the stranded cats. Thunder yowls desperately to Gray Wing to leap. He wonders whether Gray Wing could manage it, seeming so shaken from the danger and Moon Shadow's injuries.
- As a breeze flutters the flames, Thunder sees Gray Wing and Tall Shadow exchange a quick word. Then Gray Wing backs up and races toward the fire, but as he leaps a cloud of smoke billows in the air and he disappears from view. A rolling ball of fur lands heavily at one side. Thunder and his denmates dart across to find Gray Wing, his eyes streaming as he lies curled up in the dirt. He coughs so hard he can scarcely breathe. Gray Wing's hind paws are scorched and the tip of his tail was on fire. Pouncing on the tail-tip like a mouse, Thunder crushes out the flame, ignoring the pain in his paws. All that matters is that Gray Wing is safe.
- Gray Wing chokes out through his coughs that he's fine as the other cats close around him, and they have to help Moon Shadow. He can't move fast enough to dodge the flames and Tall Shadow won't leave him. Coughing overtakes Gray Wing again and he angrily continues, wondering what they're going to do. Thunder feels a cat prod him and turns to see Jackdaw's Cry, who has an idea but needs some help. Thunder nods tensely and asks what he needs, and Jackdaw's Cry pads down to the stream and plunges in, crouching down to dunk his body under the surface. He rises with water streaming off his pelt and tells Thunder to get himself wet like he did, then they'll go through the fire to fetch Moon Shadow. Hope flares to life inside Thunder, as if they're completely wet the flames won't harm them..
- He jumps into the stream beside Jackdaw's Cry, making sure his fur was thoroughly soaked. His whole body trembles from the cold shock and he flounders out again, heading back to the line of fire. Tall Shadow and Moon Shadow are still trapped on the other side and as Thunder had feared, the flames are closing in on them. He could hardly see the two anymore. Jackdaw's Cry calls out to Tall Shadow, telling her to get her tail over to the other cats and they'll come for Moon Shadow. Tall Shadow snarls in reply she's not leaving Moon Shadow and Jackdaw's Cry responds she has to, as Thunder and him are coming through and there isn't room for four cats. It is silent except for the roar and crackle of the flames, and the sound of Gray Wing's coughs. Tall Shadow demands, at last, to promise that they won't let Moon Shadow die and Thunder calls back they promise.
- Another brief silence falls, then Thunder spots a flash of movement beyond the blazing undergrowth. Tall Shadow appears, skimming so closely over the top of the flames that Thunder catches his breath in horror, certain that her belly fur would catch on fire. She lands hard and flops onto one side, panting then gasps to get Moon Shadow out. For a heartbeat, he gazes at the flames, feeling instinctively that it's wrong to run straight into them. He wasn't sure his paws would carry him forward. Rainswept Flower exclaims Thunder's too young for this and Jackdaw's Cry exclaims at the same moment for Thunder to run through. Thunder pelts forward and plunges into the flames, squeezing his eyes tight shut. Heat flashes around him for a heartbeat; then he is through, almost stumbling over Moon Shadow, crouching on the last untouched piece of ground and whimpering as sparks shower down onto his fur.
- Jackdaw's Cry nudges Moon Shadow on the paws, and instructs him that he'll walk through the fire with Thunder and himself staying on either side of him, so the flames can't get him. Moon Shadow looks up at Jackdaw's Cry, his eyes glazed with terror reflecting the red of the fire. Thunder isn't sure if he understood what to do, but he struggles to his paws. Together, with Moon Shadow between Jackdaw's Cry and Thunder, they face the flames. On Jackdaw's Cry's call, he and Thunder spring forward, half-pushing, half-carrying Moon Shadow. Thunder flinches as he feels the heat, but forces himself to keep moving. His pelt is drying now; he picks up the scent of scorched fur and sharp pain shoots through his pads.
- Somehow, they were on the other side. Thunder and Jackdaw's Cry let Moon Shadow sink to the ground; Cloud Spots and Dappled Pelt hurry up to examine him. River Ripple meows to Jackdaw's Cry and Thunder to soak themselves again, as sparks are in their fur. Jackdaw's Cry launches himself in the stream and with a hiss, steam rises from his pelt. Thunder sees flames licking at his own fur and bounds over to join him, thankful this time for the icy shock. Jackdaw's Cry asks if he and Thunder are amazing or what, and suddenly feeling exhausted, Thunder shivers as he crawls up the bank. His pelt is clinging to him, but he couldn't feel any more pain.
- He pads over to Gray Wing, still curled up and struggling to breathe. Asking anxiously if he's okay, Thunder brings up a burnt patch on his rear paw but Gray Wing cuts Thunder off, his voice a rough whisper as he says he's not badly hurt and he doesn't need to fuss. Thunder flinches at Gray Wing's sharp tone and looks around to see the patch of forest they're gathered wasn't burning yet, but they needed to get further from the flames. He realizes that River Ripple is still watching and turns to him. Thunder thanks River Ripple for helping them, and asks how do they get out of here.
Notes and references
|Thunder Rising 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 • Bonus Scene|
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