Rainbow Dash trudged through the hard icy snow, her hind legs' muscle burning from the actions it was suddenly demanded to perform. The Pegasus had grown out of shape as she had spent most of the months sitting down reading her books. Breathing hard, her leg begging for her to take a break, she obeyed and rested on a nearby stump for a few moments.
As the blue pony rested on the stump, a purple unicorn sprinted past, "Twilight? Where are you going?" Rainbow Dash shouted out after her. The unicorn slammed her hooves into the ground. Sliding against the snow she came to a complete halt and turned around running back towards the Pegasus. She stopped just in front of the resting pony and said nothing as she stood there trying to catch her breath.
"Uh, Twilight?" Rainbow Dash waved a hoof in front of the Unicorn.
"Applejack… in the hospital…" Twilight said panting heavily in between words.
"What? Is she okay? What happened?" Rainbow Dash was unintentionally screaming her questions into her friend's ears.
Twilight backed away from the frantic pony and rubbed her ears with a hoof. "She’s fine, just a bump on the head.” She frowned, “But it looks like some pony attacked her, the Cakes found her unconscious outside in the street near Sugarcube corner." As she spoke she braced herself for another barrage of hysterical questions.
Instead, without saying another word, Rainbow Dash stood up and began to run for the first time since the accident. Her injured leg cried as she pushed herself closer towards the town. She ignored the pleas; she could only be concerned for Applejack. As she entered the streets of Ponyville, the same staring eyes that met Applejack were now cast at her.
The Pegasus pushed her head into the hospital doors, taking no care to slow down for the impact. "Where's Applejack?" she yelled at the pony at the front desk as she entered, her voice a little more ferocious than intended. "Room Four." The startled desk pony said, cowering as she pointed a hoof down the hallway.
Rainbow Dash darted away, passing rooms one and three on her right. She slowed herself and turned to the door with the number four on it. She opened it with beads of sweat rolling down her exhausted body. Inside laid an orange pony who smiled broadly as she saw the Pegasus at the door. A small bandage covered her leg and a second larger one wrapping diagonally around her head meeting at the base of both sides of her left ear.
The Pegasus stared. She had hoped to find relief when she saw that Applejack was okay but the relief didn't come. What she experienced instead was pure horror. She realized that this wasn't going to stop and it would only continue to get worse. Today it was just a bump on the head, a scraped knee. Soon images of what could occur next flooded her thoughts.
In her mind, at first the orange pony looked fine and then cuts and bruises slowly began to cover her body.
The small bandages grew larger and soon turned into slings. Her blonde mane and orange fur growing tattered and torn as time went on. Until finally, all the injuries on Applejack had vanished. The pony laid there peacefully, her mane restored and elegantly combed. Her glistening orange fur shimmering in the soft sunlight that beamed down on her. A shadow cast over the sleeping pony. The lid of a casket began to cover her and then it began to sink slowly into the ground.
"Rainbow, you okay?" Applejack asked from the bed. Rainbow Dash nodded and shook the images away from her head. She limped over toward the bed, treating her hind leg to its well earned rest by placing her weight on the other three. Sitting down she took one of Applejack's hooves and caressed it gently on her own cheek.
"I was so worried AJ. After a couple hours had passed, I went out to look for you. I don't know what I would have done if-"
Applejack hushed the Pegasus. "Hey, stop yer fussing, ah'm the one in the bed, remember?" Rainbow Dash nodded and placed her head on the bed next to the orange pony.
Rainbow Dash tried to stay awake but she hadn't slept in almost a day and she had drained all the energy she had left just getting herself to the hospital. After just a few minutes her eyes closed and she was asleep. Applejack chuckled, "Yer so adorable." She whispered, petting the sleeping Pegasus's rainbow mane.
A few hours passed, when a Doctor entered the room holding an X-ray among other things. Applejack shook Rainbow Dash, and the two focused on what the stallion had to say. "You're fine. You don’t have a concussion and there was no damage to the skull. You may have a headache for a couple of days but other than that, you’re completely fine. You have nothing to worry about."
Applejack let out a sigh of relief but Rainbow Dash didn’t. Her mind had wandered back to the images it had created earlier. She could take no comfort in the news with everything she feared was to come. The two walked silently out of the room. The orange pony making an effort to talk but the Pegasus couldn't focus on anything other than her own fears.
As they returned to the farm, the orange cowpony sprinted ahead when something caught her attention. Some of the Apple trees had been chopped down, others uprooted lying on the ground on their sides, and most of them had been burned. The farmhouse had been painted over, words written across the walls and door of the farmhouse.
The front door hung from its now askew hinges, a sign that someone had bucked it open. Inside, furniture had been flipped over, pillows ripped apart, and dishes shattered on the wooden floor, even the copy of Daring Do had been shredded, its pages littering the floor.
Rainbow Dash soon caught up with the pony and trotted inside the house. The two stared at the destruction that filled the house. Anger welled up inside Applejack’s heart. As for Rainbow Dash she could only feel the same anxiety return as she examined their home.
Walking over towards the fireplace, Rainbow Dash found a broken picture frame sat on the ground; the picture it held had been torn in half down the middle. The Pegasus picked up the pieces of the picture, gazing sadly at it. It was a picture of Applejack holding Rainbow Dash close to her side after Cider season; she had still been wearing her clunky cast when it had been taken. The image frightened her, the two ponies so close together in the photograph had been so easily torn apart.