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Brightheart Speaks: The Death of SwiftpawEdit

It wasn't fair that only Cloudpaw got to be a warrior. We were just as good and we tried so hard, but Bluestar ignored us and treated us like dopey kits. Swiftpaw said we should do something so brave that Bluestar would have to make us warriors too. None of us knew what had been eating the prey around Snakerocks, but Swiftpaw figured if we went out there, we'd find a trail to follow. It made sense, you know? We'd follow the trail, find out who was stealing our prey, then come back and tell Bluestar. And then we'd be warriors! Swiftpaw knew a way out through the ferns behind the elder's den, so we sneaked out just before dawn and headed for Snakerocks. My paws trembled as we raced through the leaves. I knew my mentor, Whitestorm, would be angry with me - apprentices are not supposed to leave the camp without permission. But he'd be impressed when I helped save the Clan! The smell near Snakerocks was strange - fierce and dark. I slowed down, but Swiftpaw kept running. "Swiftpaw!" I hissed as he scrambled over a fallen tree. "Be careful!" "Don't worry!" he called back. "There's nothing here!" Just as he said that, a huge shape flew out of the cave and fastened slavering jaws around Swiftpaw's throat. It was a dog - the largest I'd ever seen. I wanted to run away more than I've ever wanted anything, but I couldn't leave Swiftpaw. Swiftpaw wrenched himself around, snarling and twisting, but the dog shook him like he was a squirrel, and then threw him to the other side of the clearing. I ran over and saw that he was bleeding, but he managed to stand, turn, and fight. The dog came toward us, its head low, its teeth bared and gleaming. I crouched, waiting until it was a mouse-length away, and then I lashed out and raked my claws across its face. It jumped back with a yelp, and for a moment I thought, We'll be okay. It's just one dog, and there's two of us. And then I saw the others. There were at least six dogs ranged across the clearing, all of them four times our size or bigger. They growled so loud it felt like the earth was shaking. "Pack, pack," they snarled. "Kill, kill."' And then they sprang. I darted forward, jumped up, and sank my claws into soft underbelly. As I clung on, scratching and biting, I could hear Swiftpaw - spitting, hissing, and yowling in rage and defiance. The world turned upside down, and the air was knocked out of me. I remember dust, a forest of legs, flying fur, blood. At one point I saw Swiftpaw break free from the pack and climb a tree. I prayed to StarClan that he would make it, but huge paws brought him crashing to the ground. Then blood filled my eyes, and I saw no more. I could still hear, though - and in among the growling and snarling, there were yelps too. I don't know when the end came for Swiftpaw. I only remember him fighting like all of LionClan. That's how I will always remember him. Then I was shaken loose. I felt light as air. I slammed against rock and everything went dark. I woke up in Cinderpelt's cave three sunrises later. Fireheart and Cloudtail had found me and brought me home. Cinderpelt said that I had nightmares, callilng out "pack" and "kill" in my sleep, but I don't remember any of them now. The first thing I remember was the feeling of Cloudtail's warm white fur pressed against mine. When I moved, he woke up instantly, as if he'd been waiting the whole time for me to awaken. I knew something wrong right away. It wasn't just the pain - my face felt frozen, and I couldn't see anything on one side. I had lost an eye! When I saw what the dogs had done to me, I wished I had died fighting beside Swiftpaw. And when Bluestar gave me my warrior name, Lostface, I no longer knew who I was. I would not have survived that dark time if it weren't for Cloudtail. He gave me another destiny, and I knew that no matter what I looked like, I would be alright. As long as Cloudtail loved me, I was no longer Lostface, but Brightheart.

Dog attack

Brightpaw and Swiftpaw fighting the dogs.

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