I was only a kit. Too young to see what I did. My mother was what they called a rogue, and we were desperate and vulnerable in the cold. I remember I had four other siblings. We were safe and protected. Then the black and white striped face nosed into our den. Fangs bared. Scarlet droplets of my kin landed on my fur as I trembled and watched wide wide eyes. My sister’s body crumpled next to me and did not stir. Then four littermates turned to three.
I was called Hawk.
We turned to a fearsome group of cats. Mother called them our last resort. They took care of us, but my siblings were wary. A sickness spread throughout camp a few days after we arrived. Then came the day my littlest sister was cold and still. She coughed, then lay limp in Mother’s paws. In her final sigh, she gazed at me with bliss, as if I were our dead sister coming to greet her again. Then there were only two littermates left.
I was called Hawkkit.
Then came apprenticeship. Despite the horror and loss I’d seen in only two seasons, my young kitten eyes were gleaming as I reached up to touch noses with my new mentor. I was lucky to have such an easygoing tom. My brother did not share my luck with mentors. Every day he came back with bruises, scars. I would ask him, but he would not speak. One day he did not come back with his mentor. I found him two sunrises later, body limp and hanging from a tree, maggots squirming beneath his fur. His jaws were slightly gaped in a scream he had not been able to utter. I had only one sibling left.
I was called Hawkpaw.
It was right before my assessment when our patrol found a fox. I fought with all the courage my Clan had given me in the past couple moons. It was only enough to keep me alive. I awoke at camp, dazed. The pain that shot up and down my face was not nearly as much pain I felt when I saw my brother, his muscular body limp on the ground. His yellow eyes were glazed, but staring at me. Staring at the scar that ran down my face like he was scared for me. I was the only one left.
I was called Brokenpaw.
I had just completed my assessment, and I was terribly proud of myself. I got congratulations from every warrior, mainly out of pity, for my cruel apprentice name. But I loved not being looked down upon, and for once, I was happy. It did not last. There was a sudden attack from another Clan, and we were beaten badly. Mother was one of the few killed. I found her at the claws of an enemy warrior, begging for mercy. Her body was battered so badly that her fur was no longer light brown, but crimson.
I was called Brokenface.
It was soon after Mother’s tragic demise when the love of my life returned the feelings in I had wanted to speak for seasons. I was thrilled, and when she told me she was having my kits, I was even happier. Then, as it always did, my world shattered. I was on a hunt early in the morning when I spotted the RiverClan tom and her, tails twined and purring. I was so enraged that I leapt at them both with unsheathed claws without thinking. Blinded by fury, I killed them both. I felt horrible. I killed the one I loved, even if she had not loved me. I ran from my Clan, never to look back.
I was called Broken.
It was raining when I darted onto the Thunderpath, my vision blurred by the rain, confusion, and loss. When the monster slammed into me, I didn’t even feel it. I gave a screech, not from fear, but agony. Then I closed my eyes. This was what I wanted. There was no one left, but me. When I opened them again, The roaring in my ears was gone, and they were there- all of them. My sisters and brothers, my mother, the one I loved, and her kits. Though they were not mine, I felt a burning love for them. I asked if I could change my name, and they said yes. One name had a special place in my heart, one that marked the beginning, the innocence.
And I was called Hawk.