You open your eyes to find yourself standing. Where? You aren't sure.
You look around you. Somehow, despite there being no immediate source of light, you are able to see. You thought to not question it. The landscape is nothing but gray. Gray for miles, as far as the eye can see. The floor beneath your hooves feels like stone. Yet when you look down, it is nothing but solid gray. No details, no shades, nothing. Just gray.
The air around feels cold, and is incredibly dry. It almost hurts to breath it in. There is no stench in the air whatsoever. The cold bites at your skin. You feel your hairs standing on end. You are slightly shivering, attempting to get at least a little warmth from the frigid atmosphere. It was to little avail.
A sound from behind you grabs your attention. You turn around to find a small filly. Her body is solid black. Her mane and tail are solid white. Her eyes are closed. She stands about twenty feet away.
You begin to approach her. As you draw closer, you notice the air to grow colder and colder. It slowly becomes more difficult to breath. Yet you can't turn away. It feels as if some force is drawing you towards the foal.
You feel a light pressure on your chest, yet when you look down, there is nothing touching you.
You arrive at the filly. She doesn't move. There is no detail in her features at all. Just solid black. You can't even make out a mouth on her face. Or eyelids. Does she even have eyes?
At last, she opens her eyes and looks at you. Like her mane and tail, her eyes are also solid white. It was difficult to tell exactly what she was looking at. Her face was facing yours, so you only figured that must be what she was observing. There wasn't much else out here to catch somepony's attention, anyway.
She opens her mouth, which, unsurprisingly, is solid white on the inside. She speaks.
"You shouldn't do that. Even for me."
You open your mouth to question, but before you even get a chance, the filly vanishes. It looked as though her body was turned to dust, and whisked away by the wind. You turn your head, attempting to find her, but with no luck.
Another sound from behind catches your attention. You turn around, only this time, instead of finding a filly, you look upon a massive torrent of water, charging right at you. The tsunami roars as it rapidly approaches you.
You turn and run. You don't know where you are running to, but anywhere but that water was fine by you. You look back to find the wave growing closer and closer. You give it your all as you run.
The cold air caused your lungs to sting. Despite the frigid air, you begin to sweat. Your legs ached, and your head was pounding. You look to your sides to see the water was beginning to surround you. You put even more effort into your mad dash.
The pressure on your chest gets a little stronger. There is still nothing there.
Your breathing is incredibly heavy. The water behind is roaring in your ears. You give all of what's left of your energy to your legs, driving yourself further. You can't outrun the torrent, and sooner or later...
You shake your head, only focusing on running. You can't stop to wipe the sweat from your face. The water was right on your tail. Your legs are screaming in pain. They desperately want you to stop, yet you know you can't. You bite through the pain, and keep running.
At last, your legs finally give out on you. You stumble over your own hooves, and fall to the ground. You look back to see the wave right over you. You take in one last breath.
In an instant, the tsunami crashes down on you. If the air was cold, this water must have come from the icebergs. You can feel your body temperature dropping already.
Your eyes shoot open. Luckily, the water doesn't sting them, and you can see clearly. You look towards what you think is the surface, and immediately start swimming towards it. It looks as though you are making progress.
Suddenly, everything slows down. The surface stops approaching. You feel yourself being pulled downward by an unknown force. You fight with all you strength, trying to swim up and away, with no luck.
Your lungs begin to ache. You frantically search for the cause of the force, yet there is nothing there. It feels like a weight has been attached to your legs, dragging you down. Your hope, along with your vision, begins to fade.
The pressure is even stronger on your chest now.
Looking back towards the surface, you spot something. A very faint light. You reach for it, and it seems to glow brighter. You begin to kick, and try to swim towards it. In response, it begins to shine even brighter.
You use a new found strength in your legs to swim for the light. You can feel yourself being dragged away from the force pulling you down. The more you kick and fight, the brighter the light shines. It has a very faint, orange hue.
You can feel the water growing warmer as you approach the orange light. Your body is returning to it's natural temperature, and your vision is returning. Your lungs aren't even straining anymore.
The light is right in front of you. It is incredibly bright, yet it doesn't hurt to look into it. You can almost feel it, it's right there! You reach out for it, and...
Everything goes black.
You look around, there's nothing.
The pressure on your chest grows stronger.
The pressure turns into a pounding. Your chest begins to really hurt.
"HEY, MISTER! WAKE UP!"
You shoot upward. You open your eyes, only to close them immediately. You take in heaves of breaths, and you can feel sweat running down your face.
You open your eyes to find yourself in a bed, sheets loosely covering your legs and belly. At the end of your legs, you find a small filly. Applebloom was staring at you with fear in her eyes.
"...A-Are y-you okay?" She asks, her voice trembling.
Was that all...a dream? You think to yourself. "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Just a bit of a nightmare, is all."
"A-Are ya sure?" She sounded deeply concerned.
"Yeah, don't worry about me," you reassure her. "I'm fine, really."
"Well, o-okay..." She still sounds unsure.
Something in your head clicks. "Hey, what were you doing in here?"
"Oh, um, I was gonna wake you up fer today's work, but..." She looks away. "I got in here, and you were sweatin' and shakin' in yer sleep... I-I was worried, so I kinda started yellin', but...but y-you wouldn't wake up, so I..."
"...you started hitting my chest?" You tease.
"N-No! I kinda, well...I mean, I started pushin' on you, but you still wouldn't wake up, so I..." She begins to nervously rub her foreleg. "...started hittin' you, yeah..."
You let out a light chuckle. "It's fine, really."
"Are ya sure? I didn't hurt you, did I?" She looks at you with pleading eyes. She really was adorable.
"Really, don't worry about it." You look into her eyes. For just a split second, you saw something. Something familiar, that reminded you of someone you knew, long ago...
"Well, alright then...." Suddenly, she perks up. "Hey! Let's go get some breakfast! Granny's makin' waffles!"
"Yeah, let's." You reply kindly. Applebloom hops up and bolts out the door, not waiting for you. You can't help but laugh.
You climb out of bed and look around your room. The Apples had boarded you in their guest room. It was fairly small, and lacked any sort of fancy wallpaper, but it was quaint. It came equipped with a wardrobe, a chest, a wall mirror, a small desk with a chair, and of course, the bed you slept in. The bed had a blanket with an apple print on it. You weren't surprised.
Taking a moment to look at yourself in the mirror, you adjust your mane from it's unkempt state. Might as well look somewhat presentable, right? Running a hoof over it, you bring down all the unruly hairs sticking out in all directions. Satisfied, you trot out the door and towards the kitchen.
You bypass several other doors on your way. You had gotten a small tour of the house, courtesy of Granny Smith, when you had first come in. You could pick out a few rooms, such as Applejack's, Big Mac's, and Applebloom's, but a few rooms you forgot about.
You trot down the stairs, passing through the living room, and into the kitchen. Immediately, the familiar smell of apples hits your nostrils. Taking in a deep breath, you can smell something similar to the pancakes you had yesterday morning.
Looking around, you see Granny at the stove, and Big Macintosh and Applebloom waiting at the table. Applebloom's mouth was watering slightly. Big Macintosh sits with his usual, stoic look, waiting patiently for breakfast.
Granny turns her head and sees you. "Oh, mornin', sonny!" She says, as chipper as she was yesterday. "Did ya sleep well?"
"Eh, I've had better nights." You say, recalling the nightmare.
"Oh, that's no good. Was the bed not comfortable?" She asks, genuine concern in her voice.
"Oh, no no no, it's fine, just, eh, had a bit of trouble sleeping." You reassure her.
"Alright sonny, but if you need anythin', let me know!" She's about as stereotypical as grandmothers can get, you think to yourself.
"Heh, thanks." You reply. You begin to trot towards the table.
"Oh, before you sit down, would you mind runnin' out front and grabbin' the paper?" Granny asks.
"Sure thing, ma'am." You turn around and begin to make your way towards the front door.
Passing through the living room again, you open the door and step outside. It was a little humid outside, and the sun was just barely peeking over the horizon. Just like yesterday, you figured it was about 6 AM.
You look down to find a neatly folded newspaper sitting at the edge of the porch. Picking it up in your hooves, you figured it wouldn't hurt to take a peek at the most recent events of the town. You open up the paper and look at the front page headline:
A new knot forming in your stomach, you crush the paper into a wad and look around. On your right was a rocking chair, resting on the porch. You figured Granny must sit there during the day. On your left was two barrels. One had a lid, but the other was completely empty.
You take the lid off of the sealed barrel, and inside was nothing but water. You chuck the paper inside and slam the lid back down.
"...There was no paper today." You say to yourself.
Walking back inside, you head back into the kitchen. The moment you do, Granny looks over and asks.
"Where's the paper?"
"Y'know, weirdest thing, there was no paper." You say casually.
"Oh, that clumsy pegasus musta lost it again. Oh well!" She goes right back to preparing breakfast.
Letting out a small sigh, you take your place at the table and wait. Big Mac was on your left, and Applebloom was on the opposite side of the table. Big Macintosh looks over to you.
"Mornin'." He says in his usual stoic voice.
"Hey." You reply. He goes right back into silence mode after that.
You look over to Applebloom, who is giving you a slight look of concern. You give her a smile, in an attempt to let her know you're fine after the little scene from earlier. She smiles back, and looks over to Granny.
"Hey, where's Applejack?" She asks.
Granny was about to answer, when the familiar, orange mare in question trots through the door. "I'm right here, don't worry." She says while adjusting the hat on her head. "Mornin' family...and you." She says, looking at you.
You merely give her a wink in reply. She smirks, and sits down at the table next to you, leaving a seat open next to her for her grandmother.
"It's just about ready, everypony!" The elder mare calls out.
"Great, can't wait. They smell great!" You call out, making Granny chuckle slightly. You look over to Applejack and ask. "So, what are my duties today, boss?"
"You and I are gonna be harvesting the west field today." She says, ignoring your slight teasing. "Hope ya got some experience in apple bucking."
"I can't say I do." You reply.
"Not that I'm surprised." She says, giving a slight glare at you.
At that moment, Granny Smith speaks up. "Alright everypony," she says, bringing over a several plates worth of waffles. "Dig in!"
She slides a plate in front of you. Resting on the plate was a larger-than-average waffle, generously topped with syrup and powdered sugar. You pick up the fork resting next to the plate and push it through the waffle, cutting off a small chunk. You bring the piece to your mouth.
Once again, an explosion of flavor graced your tastebuds. It tasted much like the pancake from yesterday, but had a much crispier texture to it. It slightly crunched under your teeth, but it was just as amazing, if not more than the pancake. The powdered sugar was a nice touch, and made the waffle all the more sweeter. The taste of apples seemed to be slightly stronger than yesterday's breakfast, and the syrup was still just as sweet.
It was a pretty damn good waffle, to say the least.
You thought about striking up some sort of conversation, but decided not to. You wanted to eat all you could in order to have the energy for today's work. If yesterday was any indication, you wanted to be as ready as you could be. Time spent talking meant less time spent eating.
With that in mind, the five of you eat your breakfast in silence.