Title: "Salem's Dreams"
Author: Pirate Turner
Rating: PG-13
Summary: In saving his people, Salem lost himself.
Warnings: None
Word Count: 620
Date Written: 8 July, 2012
Challenge: For a SmallFandomFlsh LJ comm's biweekly challenge
Disclaimer: Salem Saberhagen, all other recognizable characters mentioned within, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch are ᄅ & TM Disney, ABC, Archie comics, and any other rightful owners, none of whom are the author, and are used without permission. Everything else is ᄅ & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.

He has started wars and finished battles with impossible odds and in which his people should not have been involved. He has seen thousands slain and killed hundreds more. He has went up against the darkest curses, failing sometimes, winning often, and creating even worse curses. He has traversed worlds and sewn new doorways between dimensions. He has found new species and seen the extinction of far too many. He has seen beings so dark, too, and been places so wicked that even he cares not to remember them.

And yet, now he is a cat. He is, to look at him, a simple, ordinary housecat, but within his furry body still beats the heart of the Wizard whose name was once shouted by millions. He came so close to conquering the world, and Salem remembers every bit of it, both the good and the bad.

He supposes, tail swishing, that within this, is the paradox. As a Wizard, he forgot why he started conquering worlds, but now, as a cat, he has plenty of time to think and remember. It wasn't just the millions screaming his name that called him to fight to obtain all the worlds. It wasn't the power that eventually made him so hungry that it marked out everything else in his mind.

It was the other things he had seen, done, and had done to him and his kind. He'd forgotten about it, in the rush of power, but now, he remembered it all. He could again see every face of the millions who had been killed for being different than the human men who thought they were the only normal beings in the world and, thereby, the only ones who deserved to live in it. He heard again the dying wails of his people, the failing whinnies of unicorns and pegasi, the last roars of dragons, and the final, feeble whimpers of dying Werecreatures.

He relived the deaths, and the tortures, of his people every night. They had tried so long to live in peace with mankind, but man would not allow it. They were determined to put a miserable end to them all simply because they were different and, because of those differences, had to be evil. Salem had sworn not retribution nor even revenge but just an end to all the suffering.

He had sworn, and he had forgotten. Somewhere, some time, in trying to save his people, Salem had lost himself. The desire of power had proved even greater than he'd been warned it would be. It had overpowered him, his mind, his senses, his very heart and soul, but he was again no longer the same man he had been when he'd been trying so hard to conquer the worlds.

He was a cat, a cat who remembered, a cat who would not make the same mistakes again, and a cat who would, one day, rule the world in peace for all its inhabitants. He turns over in his sleep, curls his tail around his fuzzy, ebony buttocks, and tucks his little paws in close to his purring body. He remembers, and one day, help will again rise up from the least place the mortals expect. He will give his people the help they need, and the salvation, and victory and peace will be theirs.

Until then, he dreams. He dreams of how it will happen and Who will help him make it happen. He'll listen to His every word this time and not fall prey, as he did before, to the evils of power and vanity, and this time, they will win. He dreams of the peace that will come and the love that will rule, and he smiles.

The End