I once dreamed I could have a friend as amazing as you; some dreams do come true
When I woke up Hawkpaw was stirring in her sleep; looking greatly disturbed as she twisted uncontrollably.
I gently paddled over to the brown tabby she-cat and prodded her gently, waiting for a moment as she forced her eyes open.
“Are you alright?” I questioned her curiously, a little worried for my friend who panted as she her eyes adjusted to the light.
“It was just a dream,” She breathed a sigh of relief.
“What was just a dream?” I questioned her.
“Nothing,” She snapped quickly, pushing herself up to her paws.
But I could tell it wasn't nothing.
Hawkpaw stammered for a few moments before sighing gently, “It was just a really bad dream.”
“It must have been bad,” I agreed, “You seem really shaken by whatever happened.”
“It felt real,” Hawkpaw confessed, “I could almost feel myself there, a cold breath against me neck…” She shivered.
“What happened in your dream?” I asked her.
“Doesn't matter,” She claimed, “It was just a dream after all.”
But I could tell she was struggling to convince herself that it was actually the case.
I didn’t push her however, realizing she didn’t want to talk about it.
“It was,” I agreed.
Though I wasn't entirely sure of that myself either.
The elders would tell stories of some cats who had "dreams” of the Dark Forest and would wake up with blood leaking from their pelts.
Nothing was ever as it seemed.
The next morning was a similar story for Hawkpaw, when I woke up she was rolling around in sweat, a tight look of fear plastered on her face, quick pants escaping her.
She was very relieved when I woke her up.
When I asked what happened, again, she wouldn't tell me and would shrug off telling me an answer.
“It was just a dream,” She murmured, “No big deal.”
“You seem really shaken for a dream,” I commented, “Was it the same one as last time?”
She was silent for a moment.
And then she slowly nodded.
“The little details were different but the same exact thing was happening,” Hawkpaw claimed.
“Maybe you should see Razorclaw?”
Hawkpaw hesitated for a moment, “Maybe...”
“I’ll go with you,” I offered, gently, wrapping my tail around her shoulders and leading her to the medicine cat’s den.
Razorclaw was sorting through herbs, Mintpaw helping him out, when the two of us entered.
“Something wrong, Aquapaw?” Mintpaw questioned me, gently, her eyes wide with concern.
“Hawkpaw wanted to speak to you,” I claimed.
“Really?” Mintpaw’s eyes widened in surprise, “What’s wrong?”
I turned to face Razorclaw who had spun around by now and was eyeing the two of us curiously.
“Hawkpaw has been having nightmares,” I claimed, “Is there anything you can give her to make her stop?”
Mintpaw and Razorclaw launched into some medicine cat talk containing herbs, plants and treatments, none of which I understood in the slightest bit, before turning around to face us.
“Are they really bad dreams?”
Hawkpaw nodded gently, “And I get the same dream every night.”
“It could be because you are working too much,” Mintpaw suggested, “And so you have bad dreams.”
“I’m not working that much,” Hawkpaw claimed, “I think I might be sick or something...”
“Why don’t you spent the night here?” Razorclaw suggested, “We can observe you while you sleep and see what the cause might be.”
“Sounds good,” Hawkpaw shrugged and Razorfang gave her a tight smile before dismissing us with a flick of her tail.
“Bye Hawkpaw! Bye Aquapaw!” Mintpaw called after us.
“Bye Mintpaw!” The two of us replied in unison smiling at the medicine cat apprentice who had returned to sorting through herbs.
Hawkpaw sighed, “I’m worried.”
“That you might be sick?”
“No,” She claimed, “I think that I would rather be sick, actually, I’m really concerned at the moment that there might be a deeper reason I’m seeing these things.”
“What have you been seeing?”
“I don’t know,” Hawkpaw admitted, “There’s this dark forest-I think it’s the place of no stars-and then there’s this cold breath on my back and someone whispering that all things had to fall...”
“Was there any fighting?”
“No,” Hawkpaw confessed, “But I could tell there was some fighting which was approaching...”
“It was like...” She sighed gently, “His voice made it clear that battle was approaching.”
“A battle of claws?”
“Yes,” Hawkpaw sighed, “There was this image that kept flashing through my mind of WaterClan camp full of dead cats-all of which were in their nests, and appeared to be sleeping when they were killed.”
“It is,” Hawkpaw sighed, “I just hope they stop… I keep getting this strange feeling the picture that reaches my mind is accurate.”
“It isn't,” I assured Hawkpaw.
“I hope not.”
That night was a terrifying one for me, and one in which I was finally able to sympathize with Hawkpaw.
Because I had a dream that matched the description she had given me of her dream so clearly.
I was almost sure we were having the same one.
The forest was dark and I could hear dark voices echoing over and over again, and unable to suppress it I allowed a quick shiver to crawl all the way around my spine.
“It’s over,” A dark voice whispered.
“What’s over?” I squeaked, trying to keep my voice a lot bolder than I actually felt and failing.
“Everything you've ever known.”
“Who are you? What do you want?” I could feel fear and some anger pulsing through my veins as I whirled around.
“Nothing,” It chuckled, “I’m just warning you.”
I could feel my blood running cold, “Are you too scared to show your face even in a dream?”
“Dreams can be dangerous,” A voice whispered.
“Dreams aren't real.”
I froze gently.
“You can’t be hurt in dreams,” I claimed, “You can’t eat, speak with other real cats or train.”
“You can do all of those,” The voice whispered back, before pausing, “Except for eating. Except you don’t need to eat while in dreams.”
I felt myself beginning to turn dizzy; I couldn't think properly under the fear that was taking over me.
“Your Clan will be ruined by them.”
“How? This isn't even real!”
“Just because things come from a dream that doesn't mean they are not real. That doesn't mean they don’t have power.”
I found myself faltering again, as a fresh wave of fear rushed over me and I resisted the urge to whimper.
Suddenly, I felt a cold breath against my neck.
I could feel my bones clattering as I could feel all the heat being draining from me and replaced by the cold feeling that the shadow’s breath brought upon my neck.
“Leave Hawkpaw alone,” I managed to squeak, “You’re making her nights agonizing.”
“I’m doing her a favor and warning her,” The voice chuckled.
“We don’t need you favors,” I replied sharply, “And what you show her isn't ever going to become true.”
Suddenly, I felt myself being swiped away by an image that suddenly entered my mind.
I found camp flashing before me as my memories brought me inside the apprentice den where there were several bodies thrown scrawled out, lying limply.
Blood littered the floor, and they all appeared to have terrified looks in their eyes.
But they showed no signs of battle, and there were no claws or fur scattered anywhere over the den.
In fact, there wasn't the slightest bit of a mess either.
It looked just like the apprentice den normally would in the middle of the night, the only difference being the blood.
And the horrified looks in the cats’ eyes.
“See?” I was pulled out of the image and back into my dream where the cold voice had left my back.
“T-t-that will never happen,” I stammered.
But both of us knew I wasn't so sure; I could feel my mind whirling in fright as I realized what could be about to unfold.
What I could be about to lose.
It laughed, “I showed you that image for a reason, Aquapaw, I am not your enemy as you have taken me to be.”
“Well you are acting like my enemy,” I retorted, “The way you hide in the shadows makes me impossible to believe you are anything but. Who really are you?”
“I don’t exist as you claimed,” He whispered, “Not in your world at least. I’m just a figure that only exists in dreams.”
“Just like the one who will destroy your Clan.”
“My Clan will not be destroyed by sleeping!” I shrieked, feeling fear and anger both rising in me.
“You will see...”
My head shot out of my next as I fought back tears of fright.
“Are you alright?” Mistypaw glanced at me curiously, “You must have had a really bad dream.”
“I need to speak with Hawkpaw,” I claimed, jumping up to my paws and rushing out of the apprentice den.
I could feel Mistypaw starring after me curiously but convinced myself that I would find a way to explain it to her later.
I had to talk to Hawkpaw.
I found myself panting as I reached the medicine cats den which Hawkpaw was waiting at the entrance to.
“Is something wrong, Aquapaw?” She asked me.
“Did you see a dream?” I demanded.
She seemed taken aback for a moment before she shook her head, “I didn’t see a dream tonight,” she whispered.
“I did. It was the same one you had.”
Hawkpaw’s eyes widened in fear, “Do you think it’s real...?”
“I...” I sighed, “It felt so real, even if it doesn't make sense…”
Hawkpaw gently placed her pelt against mine, “Don’t worry about it, Aquapaw, we will solve this issue together.”
“I hope so..”
“I know we can.”
Glancing into her eyes I nodded.