I was sitting in the nursery, snug with my mother. But I was too big. I was seven moons old. Being deaf was a drawback. Sometimes I even had trouble listening to my own thoughts, as if I didn't have any. My sister was lucky. Her slight-deafness had evaporated by now, even if she still had some trouble, and she had moved on to being the medicine cat apprentice. But what about me? It seemed that everyone had forgotten I even existed.
Suddenly my mother tensed from beside me and she stood up, meaning I had to stand up so I didn't fall over when my mother moved.
Claws unsheathed, she jumped outside the nursery and disappeared. I could hear nothing. I peered through the nursery entrance and gasped at what I saw - a full-on battle consisting between Grassclan and some old rogues. I could see the newly named apprentices cowering in the corner, not yet had any training, with Icetail and my sister, Bluepaw.
I felt a surge of aggression with these rogues for disturbing me and my mother's rest. Without thinking, and ignoring the way my sister looked like she cried out, I jumped into the battle. I could feel my fur bristling. With no training, and no hearing, I was easy pray for the youngest kit.
Suddenly a shear pain hit my back and I twisted to see a large strong she-cat digging her claws into my back. I stumbled and fell to my belly and she stood over me triumphantly. I could tell she was purring to herself with satisfaction. I didn't need to hear to know that.
In the distance I saw four rogues backing the huddle of new apprentices and the medicine cats into the corner, teeth barred. One lunged and snatched my sister by the scruff in its teeth. With a surge of fury at that cat for trying to harm my sister, I jumped up, taking the she-cat on top of me completely by surprise. She fell onto her back. Seizing the opportunity, I raked my claws down her belly and I could tell she yowled. I took pity and let her run off.
I saw my sister was helpless, the other three rogues stopping Icetail from helping her. I jumped forward and knocked the rogue out of the way. From somewhere far off, a signal must have sounded, as the rogues all ran off.
My injuries finally got to me. I took a deep breath and fell to the ground, motionless.
Suddenly I wasn't where I had been two seconds ago. I was somewhere else, in the forest, surrounded by many cats that I didn't recognize, but a few that rung a bell.
"Cloudkit," one whispered in my ear. I didn't turn to see if it was one of the few I knew, or not. Suddenly nothing seemed important anymore. "You faced your fear and went into battle without a major sense to save your loved ones... For your efforts, we give a gift to you."
I only just noticed I could hear. But other than the single speaking cat, all was silent, like I was imagining it.
"Use it wisely, young one," the voice finished, and suddenly I was back in camp, my sister standing over me, looking worried.
Cats were meowing to each other and my sister breathed a sigh of scared relief.
I COULD HEAR!