When he finally and thankfully awoke, thunder and lightning ruled the sky outside and murderous rain was threatening his windows with an endless rattle like those snakes from Zebrica that he’d learned about in school.
His room was almost pitch black – the only (dim) illumination came from his uncovered windows. He tried to lie down and go back to sleep, but his pillow and sheets were dripping with cold sweat and it was just-just so uncomfortable. He was so wet his mane and tail had fallen flat, and fell in soppy strips upon the side of his face and the backs of his hind legs when he stood up.
Would he ever be able to sleep again?
After what he’d just... experienced?
He tried to walk along the bed, but instead he slipped, fell to the floor and hit his leg. Did he sprain an ankle? Maybe. He had no idea how to tell.
Feeling around in the dark with one of his forelegs, he made his way, limping and trying not to put too much weight on his back right leg, out of his bedroom and into the corridor, which was occasionally illuminated by flashes of lightning.
He could see the bathroom, and the stairs down to the shop, and his mom’s bedroom door. That was the one he wanted.
So he slowly limped over to the door, but had to jump to reach the handle because it was higher than the one on his door. After about the tenth jump, he managed to pull the handle down and the door swung open.
The dim light fell upon the face of a mare with a light pink coat, just like his, and a curly dark pink mane, just like his (or rather, how his had been). She lay curled on her bed, snoring quietly, but when the light reached her eyes she awoke and scratched behind her ear with her back hoof.
“Hmm, wha, huh?” Her sleepy gaze wandered to the doorway, in which the little colt stood watching her with wide, fearful pinkish-orange eyes.
“Bubble Berry?” she said in a fatigue-ridden voice. “Wha... what are you doing up? It’s way past your bedtime, you know. But then, what’s bedtime? I mean, is it time for bed, or time in bed, or-”
“Mom,” said Bubble Berry, “I... I had a nightmare.”
Pinkie Pie’s face became one of concern.
“A nightmare?” she asked. “Oh, sweetie...”
“Can I sleep with you?” asked Berry. “My bed’s all sweaty.”
“Aw, of course,” said Pinkie, and she opened her hooves and allowed her little colt to cuddle up to her.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.
“It was horrible,” said Berry. “It was... I was in the basement, and Rainbow Blitz was there too, but-but he was older – both of us were older – like, almost grown-ups – and...” He took a deep, shuddering breath, trying to hold back tears.
“And I had him tied up so he couldn’t move,” he continued, “and-and I was wearing a suit made of pony skin and horns and wings and-and I was gonna make him into-into cupcakes ‘coz it was his turn and... oh Mom, it was awful! I cut off his cutie mark, and his wings, and then I electrocuted him and...”
He trailed off and cried helplessly into his mother’s shoulder.
“Hex said *sniff* Dusk’s dad said that when you dream, it’s like looking into your mind,” he wept. “Does that- does that mean that inside I want to kill Blitz? ‘Coz- ‘coz he’s my best friend! He’s like a brother to me. Why would I ever do such a horrible thing?”
Pinkie wasn’t sure how to respond, so she just cuddled her son and waited for the tears to stop.
“Sometimes, dreams are just weird,” she stated. “I once had a dream where everything was made of cake.”
Berry giggled adorably.
“And-and in this other dream, Dashie got transported to another world and some guy took care of her for like, fifteen years, and then she had to leave and I woke up crying ‘coz it was so sad. And then another dream – and I think this was the weirdest one of all – I dreamt that everything that’s happening right now was being written at 10pm at night by a teenage Australian schoolgirl who was so depressed she wanted to kill herself before she became a brony.”
“I know, I didn’t get it either!”
Mother and son lay in bed giggling, almost completely forgetting about the storm outside and the circumstances which had led them there.
“Thanks, Mom,” said Berry.
“That’s okay, Bubbly,” said Pinkie, using the special pet name she reserved for him. “You feel better now?”
“Loads better,” Berry said. “But I still kinda wanna stay with you tonight.”
“Then come here so you have more blanket,” Pinkie said, and draped the covers over the little pink colt, whose mane had regained its usual curly bounciness.
“Mom?” he said as he settled under her foreleg.
“I love you.”
Pinkie closed her eyes and nuzzled Berry’s forehead.
“I love you too.”