Chapter 1

Everyone gasps when I fall. They stop and turn mid-flight to see me plummet head-first towards the water, wings flailing uselessly behind me. Many members from my clowder try to dive after me, but others hold them back. I would have to do this on my own. I close my eyes and wait, my thoughts gaining power as I start to feel a tad anxious. What would happen if I hit the water? I would most likely drown, my 'mates not being able to reach me in time. What if a strong gust of wind decided it was time to throw me off-course? Another situation most likely ending in death. I squeeze my eyes tighter, willing the troubling thoughts away. I wait. The morning is quite nice, bright and sunny with little clouds coating the sky. I breathe deeply, faintly smelling the salty air of the ocean. I wait. The air shifts, whipping my fur hard against my body. It's almost time. I wait. 3… 2… 1…

My eyes snap open. My wings lock into place and I start to twirl. I feel two gusts of wind besides me, and I see that two of my friends have joined me, Shard and Leaf. Shard Is a dark grey tabby who's pelt shimmers like steel. Leaf's is a faint lime green with brown stripes. They fly close to me, ready to catch me if I fail. The giant body of water many call the Ocean grows closer. I'm almost there…

Simultaneously, the three of us flip into a glide, launching over the water, our paws barely brushing the sea, leaving a white trail in our wake. We roar a mighty victory roar, letting our clowder know we are fine, and that I didn't fall to my death and drown. We hear a response roar. An inquiring one. They want to know what they should do. Shard sighs. She veers right and twists up into the clouds, to the rest of our group; She would most likely tell them to continue North, towards our destination. "That was risky, you pulling that move on us," Leaf teases, "and not just because there were so many ways for you to die." His voice was not deep or gravely, but it was more of a free cheery voice that matched his handsome pelt. We were close friends, and I must admit that I was hoping that someday we might be even more…

I shake my head, scattering my thoughts. Leaf snorts beside me, "I don't want to be around when you get back. Obsidian is going to be furious." His eyes flicker from gentle playfulness to something else. Something… malicious? I narrowed my eyes, but the look was gone. Was Leaf… plotting something? Gentle, kind, funny Leaf? I must've been dizzy from the stunt I'd just pulled. I saw, or imagined I saw, a look on his face, on Leaf's face, and I was jumping to the conclusion that he was planning something. My head dips with guilt. These thoughts weren't thoughts a loyal friend should have! According to the stories, loyal friends would never think anything bad of their friends! Until they get betrayed by those friends… "Shut up" mumbled to my mind. I face Leaf. "Ya. She's probably going to ban me from flying."

"Like that would stop you"

"So true. First thing on my agenda once we get to the new island: Find all the secret exits!" I exclaim, only half-joking, and doing a loop in the air. "Raaaace youuu!" I chimed happily, speeding up. Leaf and I, being the fastest in the clowder, loved to race each other. Our results always varied, with one time Leaf winning, then I, then him again, so on and so forth. I was determined to win, for Leaf had won the last one, and I needed to even the score!

Suddenly, I was knocked out of the sky. I spun head over tail, flailing my wings, trying to right myself. I didn't succeed. With a massive splash, I crashed into the freezing ocean, my body tensing up in the cold. I had lived by the ocean before we started to migrate, so at least I knew how to swim, even though, as a feline, I didn't like it. I splayed out my wings, stopping my motion, and frantically started to paddle to the surface.

When I got there though, I had barely enough time to gasp a breath before the weight that had knocked me out of the sky fell on me again. I Looked up to see another Felidavian like me.

With a lime green pelt.

And brown stripes.

And a handsome face contorted into a snarl that very much resembles Leaf's.

I was running out of breath. I knew opening my jaws would only deprive me of the air I needed, so I fixed my face into one word instead: Why? Why did you do this? Why are you drowning me? I see him flinch a tad, yet he still pushes me deeper. I'm almost out of air.I don't have the energy to fight him, and his image starts to get blurred. Dark spots show up, and I can feel myself slipping. Would I really be that bad to just let go? Let the darkness swallow me whole? Then I wouldn't have to deal with the pain in my chest. Or the sting of betrayal pricking my body like needles.

What…

If…

I…

Just…