Okay, here goes: This is where I'm going to be putting all of the stories written for Sandstream. This includes both the "Sandpaw's Backstory", which will be renamed (probably) and the new "Sandstream's Journey", which is about his recent journey. I'm going to try and post a 'chapter' once a week. If anyone sees any errors, please let me know! Also, please leave any feedback. Next segment: Sandstream's Journey: Part6 (unnamed), due 23rd February. For staff: I'm 99,99% sure everything I post follows the rules, but if I'm wrong, pop me a message and I can take it down immediately. Okay, I can't seem to edit the poll options, so just assume it's the next one in the series. The Cats The cats that appear in the stories. Sandstream: Sandstream is a small sandy-pelted tom with a white belly, brown eyes and a long tail. These stories follow his journey. Heath: Heath was a sleek, short haired tom with a golden pelt. He had green eyes and a long, bushy tail. He was Sandstream's father. Rouchjaw: Roachjaw was a reddish-brown, heavily built tom with a sharp jaw, yellow eyes, and a bobtail. He was a former Clan cat and the cat who killed Sandstream's parents. (Character by AvisOwl, the stories involving him have been cleared by her) Sunshower: Sunshower is a somewhat chubby, golden she-cat with mint green eyes. She has a white chest spot, white right, hind-paw, and her left ear is torn. She wears a flower crown, too. She was Sandstream's mentor and the deputy of Driftclan when he left. (Character by Sunshower, the stories involving her have been cleared by her. (Toon, please can I have a short description for her? I can't seem to find one that's less that half an essay long (JK))) Slate: Slate was a sleek, short-haired she-cat. Her pelt was like that of a calico, but with black and grey-blue on top of a white coat. She had sky-blue eyes. She was Sand's mate. Sand's Collection A collection of short stories about Sandstream before Sandpaw's Backstory. Sandpaw's Backstory The story of what brought Sandstream to the Clans. Part 1 11th October 2017 (Please suggest names for this) Heath slid out of the hole, a plump rabbit in his jaws. He started padding back to the forest. When he got to the outskirts, he paused. The golden tom had heard a twig snap from under a small birch. He saw a dark, reddish shape crouching down, barely visible in the forest’s shadow. He sighed. It was that strange cat that had been stalking him and his family for three days. He shrugged, and continued back to their nest in the tree. The other cat stalked forward, blocking his path. It was a tom, Heath realised. “What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded. Heath looked surprised. “It’s obvious isn’t it? I’m hunting.” The other cat snarled. “Of course. I mean, what are you doing on my territory?” he growled, leaning forward, trying to intimidate Heath. He could smell the other cat’s rancid breath. Heath tilted his head quizzically. “Territory? Are you one of those Clan cats?” The other cat snorted. “What, one of those cowards? Of course not, I’m better than any of them.” he spat, the contempt clear in his voice. Heath was intrigued. “Who are you then?” The other cat ignored him and continued. “As I was saying, you’re hunting in my territory, therefore you will give me that rabbit.” Heath shook his head. “This is all I’ve caught, I can’t give it to you.” The other tom was angered by this. “Well, if you won’t let me take my prey, I’ll take something else… your life!” he spat. His forepaw lashed out, his claws unsheathed, and slashed across Heath’s throat. Heath’s lifeless body slumped to the ground. The other cat padded away, into the forest, leaving the rabbit behind... Sandpaw's Collection A collection of short stories about Sandstream between Sandpaw's Backstory and Sandstream's Journey. Sandstream's Journey: Sandstream went missing soon after becoming a warrior. Where'd he go? Find out in Sandstream's Journey. The Beginning 17th January. Sandstream stirred. He sat up and looked around. He was sitting in his new nest in the Warrior's den. Today was the day. If felt a shame to leave this nest, only once used, but it was necessary nonetheless. He stood up and padded out of the den. Sandstream glanced at the sky. The dawn patrol would be heading out soon. This was good. He looked around, hoping to see Sunshower, his former mentor and deputy of his Clan. The small tom spotter her, talking to another warrior, presumably the leader of the dawn patro. He padded over to them, slightly nervous. "Hi Sunshower,"he called. The two older warriors turned to him. "Hello Sandstream!" Sunshower purred, beaming at the young tom. "How did you sleep? How was your first night in the Warrior's den?" Sandstream smiled. "It was alright," he responded, "It was hard to sleep in such a strange place." Sunshower looked at him sympathetically. "I feel you. Don't worry, you'll get used to it." Will I really though? he thought, as he glanced away from his mentor. "Sure," he replied. "Anyway, enough about my sleep, is it okay if I join the dawn patrol?" The two older cats glanced at each other. "Sure, we were just organising it now," Sunshower said cheerfully. A sad look crossed Sandstorm's face. He would miss Sunshower. The she-cat was ever cheerful, and the only cat he was close to, and the closest thing he had to a mother. "Thanks Sunshower," he mewed gloomily. Sunshower looked at the young tom. "Are you alright Sandstream? You seem rather glum." Sandstream looked up at her, forcing a smile. "I'm fine." he mewed. Sunshower sighed. "If you're sure." Her face lit up. "Would you like to go hunting later? You know, for old time's sake." Sandstream's heart rose into his throat. "Sure Sunshower, see you then," he choked. He padded silently over to the camp's entrance, where the rest of the patrol was waiting. As they left, he held back tears as he glanced back at Sunshower and the rest of the camp for the last time. As they padded to the border, Sandstream had time to think. He wished he had been able to tell his former mentor why he was leaving, and to say goodbye properly, but he knew she would try to stop him. She cared about him, and would try to protect him, but he had to do this, didn't he? As the patrol approached the border, Sandstream swept his gaze over the territory for the last time. While he hoped to return to the Clans, he couldn't be sure if he would be able. As they reached the border, he quietly detached himself from the group and, without looking back, disappeared into the darkness. A New Dawn 22nd January As the first light began to beak over the horizon, Sandstream began towards where he thought his old home may be. He had been terrified and half-starved when he had been found by Driftclan, and he only had a vague idea of where to go. The only think he knew for certain was that there had been trees, so he headed towards the outskirts of the Eclipseclan forest. He skirted past Meadowclan on the way, making sure to stay well out of sight. Soon, he arrived at a place that he recognised. The trees grew sparcer, and there was a small pond a few foxlengths from where he was standing. He followed it, until he came to a rotting tree. Sandstream oaused. I recognise this. He looked up and his stomach dropped. He was looking directly at his home. Or what was left of it anyway. The large tree seemed to have been struck by lightning, as it was now a blackened, charred ruin. He padded up to it, and placed his paw on it. When he pulled it away, Sandstream noticed black dust clinging to his paw. As he turned to leave, the ground chrunched beneath him. He looked down, and almost threw up. What he had thought were twigs were actually bones. Cat bones. Sandstream staggered a few tail-lengths towards the pond. His knees collapsed under under him, and he slumped to the ground, his tail dangling in the water. His mind flashed back to the day his family was murdered. Hiding in the trees, running, and finally collapsing, exhausted. He let out a low sob, and dropped his head, and sat there. He remained there for the rest of the day, and all through that night. Sandstream woke the next morning at dawn. He stood up and stretched. His muscles were sore from the day before. Then, he sat down again, letting out a low keen, releasing moons of built up grief. He continued his caterwauling until sunrise, when he started o notice a gnawing hunger in his belly. He tried to ignore it, but it kept gnawing at him, until he finally broke after sunhigh. He caught himself a rabbit, trying not to wonder if the rabbit had had a family. Once he finished the meal, he sat back down and continued to mourn, only moving to hunt, or to take a drink from the pond. He remained in this state for seven days, thinking about what had happened, what to do next, and how long he could leave for without a search for him. Then, on the eighth day, his eyes widened, and his head snapped up. He had figured out what to do next. "Slate!" Chasing Hearts 25th January Sandstream's mind raced. Slate, his old friend and anopted denmate, had escaped the slaughter. He might be able to find her. If he could, the she-cat might be able to tell him more about what happened that day. He would only be away fir... for about a moon. Surely no-one would mind, least of all Sunshower, who would want him to be happy, right? His mind made up, he stood up, and started padding away from the Clans. He didn't know where he was heading just who he hoped to find there. As he walked, Sandstream thought about how this was going to work. Slate had quite a distinctive colouring, one which he hadn't seen in his time in Driftclan. Perhaps some of the older loners might remember seeing her? As he thought, the young tom slowly circled back, without thinking, to where he had first been found by the Clans. He then turned, and headed into the unknown. After a few days, he had developed a routine. At dawn, he would wake up, groom himself, catch and eat breakfast, then start walking. As he walked, he thought about a variety of things, such as what he would do when he met another loner, a rogue, or Slate herself. He would continue walking until sunhigh, when he would pause to take a quick nap and res his feed. Walking all day was hard work, especially for Sandstream, who had spend most of his time training, not travelling. After his nap, he would continue walking until sundown, when he caught dinner, found a suitable nest, and slept. It was strange, eating when he hunted rather than taking it back to the clan. It was also lonely, not having anyone to talk to. He missed his mentor, and considered turning around a few times, but he always thought what if? What if Slate was out there? What if returned to the Clans, never finding out what happened to her? He would never forgive himself. And so he padded on, every few days meeting another loner, every few encounters pointing him in the right direction, getting closer and closer to his goal, for three quarters of a moon. Almost a moon had passed since Sandstream had left the Clans, and while he still missed Sunshower, it had dimmed from a sharp pain in his heart to a dull ache. As he padded further away from the Clans, the sighting of Slate became more and more frequent. By now, he had talked to loners who saw her most days. When he asked where she lived, he had been pointed to a small copse of trees bordering a river. He padded towards it, and ducked into a bush. He crept forward until he could see through the foliage. His gaze swept over the clearing, and his heart rose. There, in the center of the hollow, eating a mouse, was the most beautiful she-cat Sandstream had ever seen. Reunion 4th February The last time Sandstream had seen Slate, they had both been kits and, if they had been Clan cats, they wouldn't even have been apprentices. As such, they had both been very small, and mostly fur. Since then, however, possibly due to the hard life of a loner, she had grown muscular. Her pelt too had changed. While still the same gorgeous black, blue and white pattern, her pelt was now sleek and shiny, gleaming in the warm sun. Now he watched her, her sky blue eyes sparkling as she gulped down her meal. Sandstream waited until the she-cat had finished her meal to reveal himself. He stood up and padded out of the bush. "Hi," he managed to push past the lump in his throat. He stopped walking as Slate spun to meet him, her hackles raised. "Slate!" he managed to choke out. Her tail lashed from side to side. She was clearly agitated. "Who are you, and how do you know my name?" she hissed. Sandstream tried to speak, failed, swallowed, tried again, failed, swallowed. Finally, he managed to force something out. His throat closed before he could finish. "I-I'm Sandstr-" Sandstream watched Slate, unable to speak, as she slowly processed this. After a few moments, her eyes began to slowly widen, and her jaws slowly parted. "Sand!" she cried happily, racing over to him, brushing against him. The tom nodded mutely, still strangely unable to speak. Slate stepped back. "What brings you all the way out here? This is a long way from your home." She paused, then beckoned to a dark hollow in a large oak. The tunnel led through the massive root system into a small cavern. The she-cat gestured for Sandstream to sit down and asked her question again. He started from the beginning, when he came up with his plan. Slate listened as he described his journey, a look of sadness crossing her face as Sandstream described their old home. He decided sadness didn't suit her. He noticed the spell stopping him from speaking had released him, and he asked his own question. "Why did you leave me? Why did you leave me to the Clans?" Slate was taken aback. The pretty she-cat opened her mouth to speak, paused, and closed it again. She thought for a few moments, then continued. "I couldn't have looked after both of us. I almost starved many times as it was." She looked up at him, seeing another question form, and guessed what it was. "I couldn't bare to be so close to- to-" her eyes glistened with tears, and she choked up. Sandstream sighed. While he had a lot of experience being comforted, he didn't really have any comforting, especially in regards to beautiful she-cats. He gingerly placed his tail across her shoulders. That is what you do, right? Slate tense up slightly, then relaxed, and her breathing slowed to a regular, slow rhythm. That was good, right? They sat there in silence for a while, until the light was a dim orange and the sun began to disappear over the horizon. Slate glanced at the tom. "You don't have anywhere to stay, do you?" Sandstream shook his head. "Would you like to stay here for a while, until you can find a home?" The tom nodded, suddenly unable to speak again. The she-cat curled up where she was, next to Sandstream. He curled up too, slightly uncomfortable, and lay there, still, until he drifted into the realm of dreams. Part 5 (Suggest names) 12th February Time seemed to fly by after that. Slate and Sandstream had a lot to learn from each other. The tom showed his friend how to hunt more effectively, and how to get away if she was attacked. In turn, she taught Sandstream how to talk to new cats. He was shy at first, but he quickly became more confident. As time passed, the two grew closer and closer. After a few moos, Slate announced that she was expecting kits. For a moon, she couldn't hunt, relying on Sandstream to catch food for her. The rest of the time he fussed over her. "I'm bearing kits, that doesn't mean I am one." she would often say, amused. About five moons after they first met, Slate finally gave birth to their kits. A friendly she-cat named Lark, old enough to be considered an elder by the Clans, helped with the kitting. This was lucky, as Sand ended up having to wait outside of the den, since his constant pacing distracted the she-cats. After what seemed like a moon of anxious pacing, Sand was finally allowed to return to the den. There, squirming on the floor, were four beautiful, adorable, delightful kits. A few days later, the kits began to open their eyes, and they started to explore. Maple, a large, golden she-kit with amber eyes, was the most enthusiastic about seeing the area. He sister Frost, a pale-grey and white kit with sky-blue eyes looked up to her, and followed her around everywhere she went. The other two were wildly different. The tom, a small kit called Sparrow with a grey and white pelt, preferred to stay around the tree and watch the insects going about their business. This didn't concern Sand, as he had been a similarly quiet kit, but he took note of it. Sand and Slate were, however, worried about the final she-kit. Swallow was a small grey she-kit with brown eyes. She was frail and sick, confined to the den, and coughing constantly. Despite this, she was always cheerful, cracking jokes to lighten the mood, and making interesting structures with leaves and twigs. Only eleven days after opening her eyes, Swallow succumbed to whitecough. She was buried by the stream running through the glade.