The tabby's bright green eyes shot open, his claws sunk deep into the mud. He stared down at the ground in front of him, the stench of decay hitting his nostrils full force. He didn't flinch or turn away, however. Out of the mud, he could see tiny little bones poking. He knew what was buried there was not prey, instead the skeletons of his latest victim.
She'd only been a kit, named Sandkit. He had only killed her just three days before, and already the only things left of her were bones. She had been very innocent, and very trusting. She'd followed him out into the swamp, and the very second he knew he was far enough away to avoid detection, he killed her.
He'd held her little tan head underneath the mud, letting it fill her lungs until she stopped moving. Duskmoon hadn't felt a thing, not a sliver of guilt. He was a cold, calculating serial murderer. He'd returned to the scene of the crime now, certain that he'd never be caught.
Cloudstorm moved through the darkness of the swamp, letting her paws sink into the mud. Her silver and gray fur was dulled by the shadows. It had been a while since she had been out on a hunt. She had left her hunting party far behind her, and now she was prowling on her own. She could sense movement in the distance, and her ears flickered.
She recognized a Clan member known as Duskmoon. He was leaning over something, paying strict attention to whatever it was. She assumed he had caught some piece of prey in the swamps. Thinking nothing was out of the ordinary, she wandering up to him. Something smelled of decay, which bothered her.
"Greetings, Duskmoon," she meowed in a low voice. "What's going on around here?" Something was off about the situation. He seemed off-kilter, and the air was filled with some kind of tingling, negative energy like it was filled wit ghosts. She was nervous, and wished she had someone else with her.
Hearing someone approaching, Duskmoon turned around suddenly with brightness in his eyes. Cloudstorm's approached had startled him, and he wasn't sure how he was going to slip out of this without being caught. He thought he had made sure that no one was following him. He swallowed, knowing he would have to use all his charisma to fend off any accusations.
"I've just been out for a walk, nothing interesting," he replied. "I've been looking for frogs and snakes, mostly. What have you been doing?" He used his tail to brush debris and leaves back over the corpse he had been hiding. The last thing he wanted to happen was for Cloudstorm to find out that he was hiding a body. Even if it didn't link him to the murder, it made him look twisted.
The she-cat warrior narrowed her eyes, beginning to suspect her usually friendly clanmate even more. There was something off about him. She couldn't put a paw on it, but it made her deeply concerned. She strained, trying to see what he was pushing underneath leaves. If only he could get him to leave so that she could come back later and find out what was going on.
"I was out with the patrol, but I saw you over here and I was wondering what you were doing out all alone," she replied. "What do you have there? A frog?" She referred to what he was covering up with the leaves. If he was doing something strange, maybe he would tense up a bit at the mention.
Cloudstorm swore she smelled death, and that only heightened her sense of danger. What is going on here? she asked herself. Has Duskmoon done something horrible?
Duskmoon was starting to panic. Cloudstorm seemed to be so close to discovering his secret. Without thinking, he jumped on her, clawing and scratching and biting in a frenzy. He aimed a bite towards her throat, blood seeping into his mouth. There is no way I'm going to be caught! his mind screamed to him. "You should have minded your own business!" he screeched, though his mouth was filled with fur and skin.
His heart was pounding. He didn't know if he'd bitten enough to kill her or not, but if he hadn't, there was a chance that she could escape and tell the rest of the Clan about what he had done. He would be executed for sure, there was no doubt about it. There wasn't even a chance of exile for him if he was found out.
Cloudstorm was stunned when she was attacked by her own clanmate. It took her a moment to realize what was going on, and she began fighting back with the fury of StarClan. She kicked with her legs and scratched at him, but he managed to bite her neck and latched on. She tore away, and a chunk of her flesh went with it. The bite wasn't lethal, but the pain was blinding and the blood was spilling.
"What are you doing?" she screeched. "What is wrong with you, are you insane?" She struck him on the bridge of the muzzle with her sharpened claws. Her heart was pounding out of her chest. She didn't know whether she should run or if she should stay.
Duskmoon recoiled when Cloudstorm pulled away and struck him on the nose. He knew he had to kill her for sure now otherwise he would be exiled from the Clan for such an attack. Blood was spilled from the deep claw marks on his nose, but he couldn't let that stop him. He shook his head and hissed, jumping in for another attack.
He went straight for the wound he had opened before, knowing that it would be painful and easier to kill her if he just dug his teeth down further. He bit her and let the blood fill his mouth, desperate not to let his secret be found out.
Cloudstorm could feel blood in her own mouth as the other cat's teeth severed her jugular. She choked, her head lolling backwards and she let out a gurgling screech. Her finals thoughts were wrought with disbelief that her own clanmate could betray her like this, and she soon found herself outside her body.
She shuddered. There was no warmth of StarClan and ancestors to guide her home as she had thought. What's wrong? I thought I'd been good? she thought. She looked around in horror. The world was so empty, and hazed over with a thick fog. She could see things flickering in between the swamp trees, and she was scared.
"No!" she cried out. She saw Duskmoon, fangs buried in her neck. She had died a victim, and now her ancestors had abandoned her.
Duskmoon made sure to bury Cloudstorm's body within the muck and goo of the swamp, maybe she'd decay beyond recognition before anyone could find her. When he finished he stared at the place where he buried her body. He felt chills like he was being watched, yet he couldn't see or smell anyone else around. He was through with his murder and decided it would be time to go back to his Clan.
"This is why cats should never cross me," he growled lowly. He was messed up in the head, there was no denying it. Now his body count was up by one.