Chapter 26-Nightmares

3 0 0

-A Half-Moon After Chapter 22-

The world around Sunpaw burned. Fire filled the land and smoke filled the air. The dead of all clans surround the burning dirt around her as far as the eye could see. She could not escape it. It could not kill her, but she could not move. She felt the pain of her fire and choked on the smoke, but there was nothing she could do. Her flesh and but were burning as she stood frozen. She endlessly screamed for what felt like years.What is this future where I have lost?

Then Starktail emerged from the haze before her, carrying a barely breathing Honeypelt an d proceeded to drop her on the ground. Her cruel blue eyes looked at Sunpaw's terrified green ones as she spoke. "You have lost, Sunpaw! Now the world burns and all have died because of you! You tried to stop me without killing any cat, but now you have killed them all!  You said you could do it by making your leader stand up to Lakeclan, but you could not! Face the facts! You couldn't win without murder or breaking the rules!"

"That is not so!" Sunpaw screamed. "You were the one who caused the clans to kill each other! And saving the clans requires following the rules! If you cannot follow the rules to save the clans, then what is the point of the clan?"

Starktail purred in amusement. "You have much to learn, dear! Times of great change for the clans demand great changes in each of us. I rose from the weak to make us all strong. You were weak. You could tell no one anything. Not of the fire's true origin, not of Birchstar's manipulation of you and Sagepaw that she told you of, and not of the your spying for me!"

"I did it for my family and my clan!" Sunpaw growled. "Otherwise you would have killed us all, or at least my family when you took control of our territory and our clan!"

Starktail's eyes then went dark. "Are you really that much of an idiot? I said that there were more cats coming, and I have told you of how I do this to feed my clan in the cold season by making you do the work for us. Would  I really kill all of you then? You made the clans kill each other."

"Yes you would!" Sunpaw argued. "I know that you would! You controlled Lakeclan, and forced them to to do your dirty work!"

"I did not force them to." Darktail said. "They had a free choice. It merely used their fear against them. There is a difference between force and trickery. Love and faith to others are weaknesses. At least they had the sense to comply, or at least work out a deal with me. You, however, are another matter. You won't comply with me in any manner. You resist too much."

"You gave me no choice!" Sunpaw yowled. "You made me do your dirty work for you!"

"You has a choice!" Darktail bit back. "But your love to your family and faith in the rules were your own undoing! You trapped yourself in a maze with no solution. You grew distant from your clan in your stress filled days and nights. Eventually you had no family anymore."

Honeypelt's neck was then slit by Starktail is a shower of blood that spilled onto Starktail's muzzle, chest, and the burning ground. "There, no you have no family!" Starktail gleefully said. "Now go back and think of what you are doing!"

Sunpaw's then faded into blackness as she screamed once more in pain of being burnt. She awoke to the half-moon sky, her paws covered in a cold sweat of fear. It was just a nightmare! Oh thank the ancestors!

She saw that she was lieing down in the Tree Memorial. Quickly, she recalled that this was the ritual a Mender Learner goes through to offfcialy get their Mender name, although they technically remained a Learner until the mentor Mender retired or died. To better server their clan, one must face their deepest fears and deepest flaws so that they  may better themselves to be able to better sever their clans.

Sunpaw sat up, trying to calm down. But it didn't help when she knew that Starktail was there among the Menders. She heard Birchleaf speak, and looked up to her.

"You have known seen what you fear and glances into your flaws." Birchleaf said. "May you learn from your experiences. I know name you Sunclaw for your furious dedication to saving lives."

Sunclaw was somewhat surprised that Birchleaf had chosen her, a Mender, dedicated to saving lives,  to be named after what killed. Then again, I have vowed to myself now to kill. Perhaps I do it so much that that it killl killing. But that in itself is killing. Sunclaw looked towards Starktail and sensed that the Lakeclan Mender had seen the irony has well.

Sunclaw knew that she needed to think on what her nightmare had taught, so she did while she walked back to camp and lied down in her nest. The night was quiet as she did so.

Starktail and her destroying the clans are my greatest fears, so that does not concern me. But everything else does. I know I am thinking and causing myself much stress. But having no family because of that. That cannot be! We may not speak much, but I still love them. Badger-rose and I still joke and make small talk. Honeypelt still gives me advice. Goldenheart is just busy all of the time, as he normally would be for the clan, given our ways. I will reconnect with them more someday after Darktail is gone.

And having to break the rules? As if I don't already do that or am planning  doing that! I am willing to apply my beliefs to bend the rules somehow. But the one rule that I will never break is killing a cat. Unless they are about to kill me, I shall not ever do it! Even Starktail. If she broke the rule of coming back after being exiled, I would, but only because the rules de,and it is wrong.

Yes, keeping these secrets stresses my out every day, but I do it for my clan! Darktail would not kill us all, but enslave us. I will not let that happen to our clan! If we are to stand strong, I must keep it s secret so we do not believe that we are vulnerable, and thus too afraid. I have lost Burnscar alone, but  I keep what Birchstar told me not to tell as to not ruin her life anymore than I already have. And Starktail forced me to break the rules. 

My love and faith are no my weakness, but the are my strengths. They are what makes me different from Starktail, who knows only hate and greed. There is not wrong with me. My ancestors would know this. This is just another case of  Brightwing meddling with them!

Sage-eye's Story-Book 1: Manipulation (WIP)Read this story for FREE!