That is what this place was.
A mass forest was stretched out as far as the eye could see. Large crystal clear ponds were scattered in one area, another was where towering oak trees dominated the land. Another piece of territory was plain maple and birch trees and off to one side, the forest ended and opened up to the moorland where a gently breeze flowed over it. In the middle of the landscape laid a giant oak tree that had a hollow center and large roots.
At the far end at the horizon laid a giant hill, almost as tall as a mountain. It had tan, rugged sides that was impossible for any cat to scale it. At the apex of the hill was lush forest and had a clearing in the center.
On the base of the great cliff side, a dusty, dark brown tom let out a sigh of relief as he pushed the hollow log in position.
“Great StarClan, I’m glad that’s over,” the tom meowed and glanced up at a tall rock behind him. “How’s the trail, Fireshadow?”
A ginger tom with black splashes and brilliant green eyes slowly scanned the trail ahead of them. “It’s all clear, Burrowtail!”
“Great!” Burrowtail meowed and cautiously glanced around them. “I just hope those Elite cats are busy at the moment…”
“Don’t worry about them!” Fireshadow insisted. “Now, let’s get ready!”
Burrowtail nodded and happily leapt into the hollow log. Fireshadow casually leapt off of the rock and gave the log a great, big heave. The log slowly began to move forward when Fireshadow leapt inside, crouched down, and the log speedily zoomed down the hill.
“Isn’t this great!” Fireshadow hollered to his friend crouching in front of him. He could just make out Burrowtail’s response of glee against the roaring wind. Summoning up all of his courage, Fireshadow gingerly began to sit up and was greeted by the wind roaring at his face. The tom just loved the feeling of the wind against his ginger and black fur as they zoomed down the hill.
"Burrowtail, lean to the left!” Fireshadow commanded as a rock threatened to end their game. Both toms gingerly leaned to the left, just like they had practiced before, and the log casually veered to the left.
“Fireshadow…!” Burrowtail yelped and pointed with his ears towards them. A giant slab of rock was jutting forward, right in their path.
“Lean back!” Fireshadow ordered as he and his friend swiftly leaned back. The log dashed on the rock and soared in the air. Fireshadow felt like his stomach had flown to his heart as they flew in the air. Time seemed to slow down until the log tumbled on the ground, causing the two toms to be sent flying into the ferns. The log crashed into a tree and shattered into a million pieces.
Fireshadow gingerly got to his paws and rapidly shook the dirt off of his pelt. “Burrowtail, are you alright?”
The dusty dark brown tom’s head appeared from the ferns a few heart-beats later. “I’m fine,” he mumbled and glanced at their broken toy. “Great, that was our best log yet!”
“We have bigger problems than that,” Fireshadow murmured and pointed with his tail to the group of cats coming down the hill. A brown and black tom was in the lead, with a pale gray she-cat, a golden tabby tom and a silver tabby tom with black paws behind him.
“Uh-oh…” Burrowtail whispered. “It’s the famous Alpha Squad! We better get out of here before they rip our tails out!” He was prepared to leave, but stopped when he realized that Fireshadow wasn’t paying attention. “Fireshadow!”
It’s the Alpha Squad, the strongest team of the Elite Forces! Oh, if only I could be with them!
“Uh, WhisperClan to Fireshadow,” Burrowtail hissed. “We have to get moving!”
“Huh? Oh, right! Let’s go!” Fireshadow meowed as the two toms pelted into the forest before the dangerous Alpha Squad could shred them.
“Phew, that was a close one!” Burrowtail meowed as the two toms padded on the moors to their home.
“You can say that again!” Fireshadow chirped as they neared a wall of bracken and brambles. There was a tiny entrance in the wall and the two toms scrambled through it. Dens lined the perimeter of the camp, mostly made from ferns and bracken. A large rock stood on one end and on the other end were two rocks leaning against each other.
“Fireshadow! Burrowtail!” a mottled brown and white tom growled from the large rock and padded towards the two toms. “Where have you been? I didn’t mind that you missed dawn patrol, but the hunting patrol had to leave without you!”
Fireshadow drew back his ears in embarrassment. “Sorry, Mudsplash,” he mumbled.
Mudsplash drew back a growl. “I have a very good reason why I should let Fallenstar put you on apprentice task for the next moon, but I’ll give you another chance.”
Burrowtail pricked his ears up. “Thank you, Mudsplash! We promise to be on time for our patrols.”
The WhisperClan deputy flicked his ears and padded back towards the stone.
“I thought for sure that Mudsplash was going to eat us alive,” Fireshadow meowed once the deputy was out of ear shot.
“Same here,” Burrowtail meowed. “But, hey, try having him for a father.”
Fireshadow slowly nodded, but let his own thoughts drift away.
Burrowtail saw his friend’s expression and immediately regretted his choice of words. “Hey…I didn’t mean it like that…”
“No, it’s fine,” Fireshadow interrupted him. “I’ve gotten over it by now.”
Burrowtail paused for a moment, then went on. “I’m sure your real parents are out there somewhere,” he meowed encouragingly.
“Maybe,” Fireshadow shrugged. He let his mind drift off and remembered the painful strikes of Slick’s claws and the pain of not having a family who would love him. He quickly shook his head from those nightmares and looked over to where a blue-gray she-cat sat by the fresh-kill pile. A dark ginger tom gently rubbed her neck with his head while a younger, ginger and white she-cat ate a rabbit.
At least they’ve been nice to me… Fireshadow thought. He went back to Burrowtail’s comforting words, but they were immediately whisked away by an ancient leaf-bare breeze.