Chapter One

Out With the Old and In With the New

"Are you sure this is where they are now," I asked.

"Yes this is the place," my 'friend' Thomas shouted.

"All right then, there's no need to be so rude about it," I said. Honestly even if he had lead me back home there was no excuse for him being rude.

"Snowball's back," Moses called.

"If there's going to be any announcement of my return I'd like to do it myself thank you very much," I said.

"Fine, traitor," Moses said. "Norma, Snowball's here."

"Everyone, Leo, Pinkeye, Bruno, Snowball's here, come out and see him," Norma the cat called to the largest barn.

"Why are you being so rude," Norma asked. I stepped back a bit, why were they being so cruel to me? I'd never done anything bad to her, had I? I had to find out what was going on, if only for the emotional safety of me and my family.

"Where's Amelia," I asked.

"Not here, she's at the Leaders Meeting," Norma said.

"I'm going to Langwood Farm," I said. Thomas glared at me, he didn't understand, he didn't have a family to take care of and worry about like I did. I couldn't afford to make an enemy, not with a family to protect and care for.

"Why, only the fools go to Langwood, and even then only if they're in desperate need of assistance," Thomas said. I have to admit, hearing that angered me, since after all Amelia occasionally went to visit the leader of Langwood who was strangely enough her brother Jared.

"If you go they're going to die," Thomas said.

"No, they can't die, not now, not when I just got back," I said. After I said that some of the guard dogs came barking, why were they barking? Was I considered a traitor again?

"What are you doing here traitor," Paris the dog asked. Well that answered that question, but how to have them let me through, I had a family to see, and I was going to see them. It seemed that I would have to use a tactic I didn't use very often, emotional intimidation. It involved the fact that I had a group of dogs, some of the most vicious dogs I'd ever seen, dogs that would feed these dogs to their children for breakfast.

"You know I know a group of dogs who have gone against cougars, bears, quite frankly those dogs would feed you dogs to their children for breakfast. I don't think you'd like to go against them, now would you," I asked. They went away whimpering and I felt ashamed of myself, how could I do that to them? Amelia would be disappointed in me, I knew it, and I wondered how would I be able to face her when that time came?

"Forget Amelia," Thomas said. I stepped back in shock, how could I forget Amelia? I couldn't, not after going an entire month without seeing her.

"I can't forget Amelia, if I do I forget how she changed me, why I love her, why I yell at someone when they interrupt her," I replied.

"You're too in love with her," Thomas said. I went back again, I wasn't too in love with her, she was my best friend, my guide, the reason I was the way I was.

"No, I am not too in love with her Thomas," I said. "You don't know what it's like having a family to take care of, I don't need any more enemies, but if you keep insulting Amelia like that then I'll have another enemy." At that I ran towards the main barn, I couldn't wait to see everyone's reaction when they found out I had returned.

"I'm back everyone," I said. When I looked to the right I saw Amelia, Bruno, Pinkeye, and the rest of my family and friends sitting there, I couldn't have been happier to see them.

"Snowball you're back," Amelia said.

"Where were you," my son Leo asked.

"I was helping other animals who aren't as lucky as us," I replied.

"Well that was nice of you," Leo said.

"Thank you, but don't you think you should be asleep right now," I asked.

"You're welcome, and you're right, I'm sorry I'm staying up so late," Leo apologized. "I'm a bad baby! Do you think you could ever forgive me?" Amelia and I both nodded, he was just a small child after all, and it wasn't his fault.

"Thank you for your kindness, I'll do better tomorrow, I promise," Leo said.

"You're welcome, but it's Monday, I thought you were taking leadership classes," I said.

"I am, but Uncle Minimus made them start earlier and now I might be late tomorrow," Leo said, nervous.

"I'll be sure to talk to Jared about it as soon as possible," Hermes said.

"Oh good, so I won't be late tomorrow," Leo said, relieved.

"Yes, but go to sleep," I said. "You need rest Leo; you'll have to wake up in about eight and a half hours."

"I will, but can you please take me," Leo asked. "The dogs get scary at night and since I'm a baby they seem even scarier."

"All right come on let's go," I said.

"I thought you were going to make a speech," Thomas said.

"Well you were wrong about that," I said. "I have to take my son to the sleeping area; I'll be back later, possibly tomorrow morning."

"What, you're going to sleep now," Thomas asked.

"Yes, we should all probably go to sleep now," I said. After I said that I left with Leo in order for him to be able to fear the dogs less. When I went to sleep I had a dream, more of a memory really, but it was about how Amelia had changed me.

Dream/Memory Start

"Snowball, what are you doing," Amelia asked.

"I'm walking around the farm, for some reason my mother told me to walk around and 'assess' the assets of a farm, but I don't want to. My mother would also think this farm was poor since it doesn't have modern technology like Taylor Farm did before it burned down," I said. Amelia looked shocked at this and that was my clue that my mother was wrong about it.

"How could she think that," Amelia asked.

"I don't know," I replied.

"You should really stop doing this before your behavior escalates to the point where you're critical of everyone and everything here," Amelia said. "Your friends, your favorite things, everything and everyone, and nothing is spared." When I heard Amelia's words I stopped assessing the farm, my former need to do so was gone, it had vanished, thanks to a few words from Amelia. After I thought a bit over it I decided that I wasn't disappointed my need to assess the farm had vanished.

Dream/Memory End

The next morning I made a speech, and Thomas' need was somewhat fulfilled, but I felt empty for some reason.

"What's he still doing here," someone asked.

"This is Snowball remember, why does he need a reason to be here? I think the fact that most of his loved ones live here is reason enough don't you," Bruno asked. The other animals merely blinked at that, and I had to wonder if they even cared anymore. Luckily Hermes was there that morning, and convinced them that I belonged there.

"Now really everyone, don't you think Snowball deserves to his see own family after not being able to see them for a month? He's Amelia's best friend, they've been best friends for practically their whole lives and Amelia has missed him quite a bit, don't you think Amelia deserves to see Snowball after not seeing him for so long," Hermes asked. Everyone nodded, they understood why I was here now, and I was honestly grateful to everyone who was helping me stay here. After that I made a speech, and I can't recall the exact subject of the speech, but I'm sure you're clever enough to figure it out.

"I can't tell you how grateful I am that you're all alive and safe, thank you to everyone who has helped me in the past, is helping me now, and will help you in the future. You've done a lot for me, and I won't forget it, I promise," I said.

"That's it," Thomas asked, angry. "That undersized thing is a speech?"

"If you knew Snowball as well as you claim then you'd know his speeches don't usually last very long, when they do it starts to get dull after a while, animals start to fall asleep and his feelings end up getting hurt," Amelia said.

"Amelia's right, that and longwinded speeches make my voice tired and now that I'm in my elder years I have to be careful," I said. It was true, males in my family tended to get softer voices at around five years of age, which just so happened to be the age I was at that point in time. Sadly our happy times were going to come to an end, because of Thomas, who said he was one thing but was really another.

"Snowball I want you to sit here," Thomas said gesturing to an area of carpet in the farm house. Little did I know that sitting there would result in a change that would result in Amelia's death, in her hating me, and in her feeling so insecure that it would put the lives of everyone on the farm at risk. After I sat Thomas asked me to close my eyes, then he jabbed me with an anesthetic needle which literally sent me into a world of darkness.

"How do you feel," Thomas asked. I glared at Thomas and he smiled wickedly, the true me, the one who's narrating this, was trapped, locked in a cage. Never to come out unless the darker, and far more nefarious area of my personality let me out, what a bit of irony, I was actually trapped in my own mind, with no way to get out. What could I do except sit in misery and hope my family didn't fault me for what this new, more nefarious version of me did?

"Snowball, there's a Leader's Meeting tonight from seven o'clock until nine o'clock," Bruno said. I'd love to say that he didn't do anything to Bruno, and that he said all right, before letting me out. However, as I've previously stated, he was more nefarious than I was, and was therefore more likely to make me have to battle my way out of my mind. There would be times when I would get lucky and a truce would be called, and there were others when I would have to continue the battle.

"I'm going to go now," he said. At that point in time I hadn't figured out a name for him, I think. So until I remember what it is you'll need to live with it, sorry. After that he walked away, I wanted to stay and he wanted to leave, we left. I had to remember I was fighting against myself here, didn't I know myself better than anyone else did? Then we were both in my mind, or the labyrinth I called a mind, according to the darker side of me.

"You're going to have to fight quite a bit in order to get out of here," he said. I nodded my head, I was aware of that, I was going to get through this, I had, for Amelia.

"Another one's going to show up soon," he said. I looked up from the floor since I had been looking at the floor my mind now had. It was mostly comprised of photographed memories from my childhood that I spent with Amelia, but the point was the entire floor was about Amelia and I, how could I stop looking?

"What," I asked.

"You're not deaf, you heard what I just said," he answered.

"Hello is this room 842-B," someone asked.

"Yes it is, I'm leaving now, I suggest you go through the labyrinth you call a mind," he said. He then turned around and left that room of my mind, something that I hadn't expected.

"What's your name," I asked.

"Patrick," Patrick replied.

"Take a look at the floor, this is probably my favorite room, even if it's just because of the floor," I said. Later on my friends and family mysteriously decided to talk to me, all at the same time, I have to say being trapped in your own mind by yourself, not fun.

"So Snowball if that is your real name," Bruno said. Unfortunately Patrick was in control at the time, no doubt another one of Glen's tricks. Yes, my darker side's name is Glen, odd, but there you have it.

"What, that's not-," Patrick began.

"What do I do," Patrick asked.

"Hold on, there's an exit right over there," I said.

"Yes, take it from here please, maybe they'll listen to you," Patrick said.

"You were saying," Bruno asked, upset.

"I'm sorry everyone, there's something going on in my mind right now," I said. "My darker side Glen is trying to take over my mind, in order to defeat him I have to travel through my mind. It's complicated, but if you hear my voice with a darker and nefarious edge to it then it's Glen you're hearing, if you hear my voice with a lighter and more honorable edge to it then you're hearing Patrick." I figured it was best to tell them then, before Glen had a chance to trick them. They thanked me and left, but I never had a chance to join them, because Glen took me away.

"What do you think you're doing," Glen shouted.

"He's going to kill us, isn't he," Patrick asked.

"Run," I shouted.

"We need to get to sleep now," Amelia said. Glen followed, but only because it would look suspicious if he didn't, I honestly hoped my family knew that Glen wasn't me, because if they didn't then I would certainly be in an awkward situation.

"Hello, everyone," Amelia said. "I have an announcement to make, it is Snowball, but it isn't." Everyone looked confused at this, and I couldn't believe they had actually wondered if it was me or not. What had happened since Thomas put me under hypnosis? More importantly, what was I going to do?