A My Little Pony Fanfic
It was not quite dawn when it returned from Rainbow Dash's abode. Pinkie Pie's Shadow hovered above her body. It stared at its stupid host, the host whose actions it was always doomed to mimic…the host it was always doomed to follow…the host it would always, always obey.
Until tonight that was. With a single motion, it descended towards the sleeping Pinkie Pie, and with a single outstretched hoof, it reached out for her head and touched it. Pinkie began to squirm in her sleep immediately.
Pinkie was having a nice dream about racing Rainbow Dash with her new Pegasus wings. Rainbow had lost for about the 3rd time now, and was really fuming at Pinkie. Pinkie had meant to say "Sorry Dashie, I know you like being number one and all, but I can't stop myself once I start flying!" But instead, she said "Sorry Dashie, but your number has come up. I made you number one, I thought you'd like that."
Rainbow Dash wasn't stomping on a cloud in frustration anymore, she was strapped to a board in Pinkie's basement. The dark, blood-stained party room filled with pony parts replaced the wide open sunny sky where they were a second ago. She took a cart with medical tools and various blades closer to Rainbow. Rainbow started pleading with her, and Pinkie started pleading with herself. "Stop…don't hurt Dashie…DON'T HURT DASHIE!" But as soon as she thought it, time seemed to skip and she already had scalpel in her hand! An unholy laugh filled the room.
It was her…but it wasn't her….she was repulsed and dismayed….yet she felt a smile on her face, she was grinning from ear to ear… SHE DIDN'T WANT TO SEE THIS ALL AGAIN!...the scalpel neared her helpless friend, her arm moved as if possessed. Rainbow was crying. enoughenoughEnoughEnough. The scalpel just started to break into her friend's squirming flesh.
"ENOUGH!" Pinkie screamed, jumping back awake. She didn't need her lucky bucket this time, the dream had ended sooner than before. Pinkie barely had time to contemplate what had just happened as she couldn't believe the sight in front of her. A shadow was flying all over the room. Mocking her.
Pinkie gasped as the shadow darted across the ceiling and walls of the room. Something was in there with her! Pinkie watched in silence -she never was one to scare easily- as tried to make sense of what she was seeing. She felt bold and decided to try something.
Pinkie stuck her lower jaw out in front of her upper lip, giving herself a toothy under bite and she grunted like a gorilla. The shadow stopped moving and Pinkie decided to keep going. She stuck her tongue out, stretched her face out, and made gibberish noises. The shadow imitated her, and she realized that it looked like the shadow of an earth pony. One with a very familiar tail and mane. What's that? It was pointing to the wall facing away from the window. She didn't see anything strange-WHHAAAIAIAEEE!
"My Shadow's gone!" Pinkie Pie exclaimed. Her new 'friend' pointed to itself. Pinkie looked at the light she should be obstructing on the wall, then looked back at the shadow, then looked back at the wall, then back at the shadow. Sadly, the mare standing in front of the window did not cast a shadow, but if Pinkie stopped goofing around, the plot would've made some headway by now.
"I'm on a horse." Pinkie stated out of nowhere. "Wait, no I'm not…I am a horse. Er, pony."
The shadow slapped its nonexistent face with its hoof. Then helpfully flew over to Pinkie and stretched from her hooves to cover the wall, mimicking Pinkie's movements perfectly. Pinkie blinked. "Ooooh...there's my shadow!" The shadow then flew away from Pinkie and crept under the window to leave the house. "Hey, wait! Shadow!" Pinkie opened the window and saw that the shadow had reached the ground level already and that she didn't have a ladder. She began to run downstairs but the thought of the sweets made her queasy, so she ran into the utility closet and took some rope instead.
She had a lot of ground to catch up, but she could still see her shadow up ahead, under the light of the full moon, which wasn't obstructed by many clouds. "I owe you one, Luna!" Pinkie cheered as she chased after her shadow.
Pinkie didn't know how she was going to catch her shadow, or if she should. She'd just have to sew it back on like Pony Pan! Actually, Pinkie had no idea how that was supposed to work, but she didn't really have time to think about it. She could catch up to it, but each time the wily shadow twisted and dodged and flew off in another direction.
And four and a half hours later, in the heart of the dangerous EverFree forest, Pinkie had mistaken her runaway shadow for a vicious manticore
Pinkie screamed and ran away, the manticore in hot pursuit. Pinkie ran and ran, daring not to look back, and completely obvious that something speed across the ground, its unnatural visage catching the Manticore by surprise and forcing the beast to retreat.
Rainbow Dash, who had heard Pinkie Pie's scream only moments ago, saw a section of the forest rustling, and flew towards it, hoping she would find her friend before it was too late. Out of the rustling trees came...a terrible manticore! Running for its life? Rainbow didn't understand, and for a moment forgot about Pinkie Pie. The manticore hadn't even noticed her, but it saw her shadow and just barely stopped short of, fear in its eyes, as if the shadow of a Pegasus was the most horrifying thing in the world, and it ran in another direction, away from Rainbow, but different from where it originally came.
"Weird." Rainbow said to the trees. She then remembered why she was out in the forest to begin with. "Oh wait, Pinkie Pie!" Rainbow flew in the direction the manticore came from, hoping that that would be where she'd find her friend.
Pinkie had eventually convinced herself to stop and listen to her surroundings. The manticore wasn't coming. She had escaped. She stopped to catch her breath, when suddenly, there it was! Her shadow! Gliding across the forest floor, it flew completely separate from her body, all on its own accord. As it zipped past her, Pinkie gave chase once again. "Wait! Shadow! Come back here!"
While running, her stomach growled noisily as if in protest. Pinkie had to admit she was awfully hungry and tired. She hadn't eaten anything ever since getting up and she threw up all the food she had before. But…what could she do? How do you catch your Shadow? Her stomach growled again.
Actually, she didn't even know when she entered the Everfree forest exactly, and she nearly got killed by a manticore. Maybe she should just give up and…HOLY LUNA HER SHADOW JUST SHOT BY HER YET AGAIN! Pinkie Pie gave chase once more, throwing all cautious thoughts out the window.
Twilight Sparkle stood outside her library, and looked around at her friends. "Alright. It seems that we are all here." Applejack looked around for anypony other than Twilight and Fluttershy. "Um, Twi? No we ain't. There's only three of us here. I know Pinkie is the one who's gone missing, but where's Rarity and Rainbow Dash?"
The Purple Unicorn signed. "Rainbow did what she does. She's already out there looking for Pinkie herself. Rarity's parents are out of town and left her with Sweetie Bell again, so she's arranging for her sister to stay at a neighbor's house. But that will take a while, so she'll met back up with me in a little bit. We put this off for too long. So, here's where we are going to start searching-" The Yellow Pegasus rose her hoof. "…Yes, Fluttershy?" Twilight asked her friend.
"Oh, I'm sorry for interrupting. Its just um…did Mrs. Cake tell you anything that might be the reason behind Pinkie's disappearance? If we knew what she might be doing, that might narrow down the search." Twilight shook her head. "That's a very good point, Fluttershy, but we don't have anything to go on. Just that she had a nightmare and that it was about Rainbow, which is why she woke Rainbow up." Fluttershy "And then Rainbow sleep over at Pinkie's house right? But then…Pinkie snuck out of bed and just left Rainbow there? Even if she were in a rush, I can't imagine the reason for her not to wake Rainbow. Especially since she already woke her up earlier that night."
Applejack curled her nose. "What Ah don't get is since when can an Earth Pony like Pinkie Pie walk on clouds without magic?" Fluttershy spoke up. "Oh! I can answer that one! Griffons and other non-pegasus fliers can not sleep on clouds like Pegasi can, which is why even if I just took care of birds, I'd still have to live in a cottage on the ground to house my injured animal friends. But, they can walk on clouds using a trick they have to be awake to use, and Gilda taught that technique to Rainbow, who, after a certain incident where Pinkie Pie fell out of her flying contraption and through a particularly cloudy sky, taught it to Pinkie."
Applejack looked a little confused "And she didn't teach it to me?" Fluttershy just stared at Applejack. "Well…Pinkie actually goes up into the sky more often than you do with those weird machines of hers, Applejack. Maybe Rainbow thought you wouldn't need it since you'd have no way to get up to OR down from any of the clouds."
"I'm sorry, this is very interesting and all, but we need to focus. To answer your question from before, Fluttershy, Mrs. Cake didn't really elaborate on any of the details concerning Rainbow. Just that Rainbow explained the bit about Pinkie's nightmare and then she took off really quickly after learning what happened to Pinkie. Now, if we begin our search by-" A cry of "I'm here! I'm here, everypony! I haven't missed the briefing, have I?" caused Twilight's body to seize up and her eye to twitch.
A white Unicorn with a dark blue mane and curly tail ran up to the three. "No, Rairty." Twilight said with strained Patience. "We were just about to start. How's Sweetie Bell?" Rarity started. "Well, Plan A hit a bit of a snag, and I had to find someone else to promise to pick up Sweetie Bell from school. I hope you don't mind, Applejack, but Big Macintosh offered to have the Cutie Mark Crusaders sleepover at Apple Acres."
Applejack shook her head "That's fine. Glad ya could make it, Rarity."
Twilight cleared her throat. "Okay, wonderful. Here's the short version of what we're going to do. Rarity can accompany me to Zecora's, since Rainbow Dash flew into the Everfree Forest, and we'll need Zecora's help tracking HER down. Fluttershy and Applejack, you will be searching…"
Rainbow Dash was having a terrible time tracking Pinkie Pie down. She was initially encouraged that her plan to retrace the manticore's steps had in fact lead to fresh hoof prints in the dirt, running in the opposite direction. But thanks to the uneven and unpredictable terrain of the Everfree Forest, the trail quickly vanished under a carpet of shrubbery. Some of the plants were still trampled, and there were hoofprints in between the plants, but Rainbow couldn't make out those details without at least going on foot and paying more attention to detail than she was used to.
Judging from the manticore's reaction to Rainbow Dash -no, wait, her shadow- Rainbow figured that Pinkie most've had the good fortune to find the most cowardly monster in the entire Everfree forest. Heck, after the last one turned out to just have a thorn in its paw, and made friends with Fluttershy, Rainbow had to say that her total experience being properly horrified by manticores was lacking. It wasn't like they were giant Dragons. or Cupcakezilla.
Bah, now the forest was getting darker. "Wasn't it, oh I don't know, DAY, a minute ago? Argh! I'll never find Pinkie like this!" With not much more to do, Rainbow called out at the top of her lungs "PINKIIIIEE! PINKIE, are you out there!" It was useless. She needed someone who was good at tracking…someone that knew the Everfree…someone like…
"Hold, my pegasus friend! To continue wonder into the Darkest Grove will certainly mean your end!" A voice called out to her. Rainbow heard trotting and turned around to see none other than Zecora, the Zebra herbalist that lived in the forest, and until her reputation was cleared recently, was feared by all in Ponyville.
"Zecora! Just the Zebra I was looking for! Listen, Pinkie Pie is lost in these woods, and I know she's somewhere around here, but I can't find her tracks!" Rainbow summarized. "I need your help finding her!"
Zecora looked to the ground. "This is most ill news, indeed. If Pinkie Pie came this way, she is close to the entrance of a place of terrible danger! Show me where you last picked up her tracks, and follow my lead!"
"Whoaaaaa!" Pinkie came to a screeching halt, and landed face first in the dirt. She looked around for any sign of her shadow, when she noticed it was back under her. "Did I win?" Pinkie asked her shadow. The shadow just looked back at her…at least she thought it did, its hard to tell because shadows don't have eyes.
Pinkie Pie lifted her hoof. Her shadow mimicked the motion flawlessly. She craned her head. So did her shadow. After all that time chasing it, it actually felt weird to have it back, copying her like nothing had happened. "Hey! Quit copying me! Why don't you do something original, you silly shadow?" The shadow went through the same motions. "Ugh. What a lameo." Pinkie said, in her best Gilda impression. She giggled with delight, promising herself to never take her own shadow from granted again. Pinkie was just about to do some flips and shadow puppetry next, when her stomach growled again, and she noticed that she really, REALLY needed some food. And water. That shouldn't be too hard. She just had to go back to….Ponyville?
Oh right. She was lost in the Everfree forest. Actually, this wasn't such a good place for Shadow Puppetry, it was too dark. The forest canopy was especially thick here, and seemed to be growing thicker by the second. And what was with all this fog rolling in? She couldn't see her shadow anymore. "Oh no!" Pinkie looked to the ground, and yelled at it "You better still be down there next time when I get some light!"
Pinkie was feeling a little scared, but she couldn't fight her hunger anymore. She went over to a section of the grove that hadn't been overtaken by fog yet, where some grass had grown.
Pinkie wasn't used to eating grass completely raw, without any salt or anything. Oh well. At least it didn't taste sweet. Her stomach turned a little bit again at the thought of cupcakes, and she focused on foraging for food. Would she ever be able to eat anything sweet again? Or even just look at anything sweet again? That dream of hers….it was so vivid. It felt so real. And then she had it AGAIN. Pinkie heard of recurring dreams, but twice in one night? She thought that when she saw Dashie was okay, she could relax a little bit, but…
She put the thoughts of the dream from her mind, and looked for something else to think about. Actually…the grass was kind of moist, which made her less thirsty. So that was a plus.
"That's it Pinkie, keep thinking positive like that." Looking around, Pinkie found that some of the leaves had dew in them…or was that condensed mist? Pinkie drank from a leaf with a loud SLURRRP!
"Ah! ….that actually isn't nearly as good as the water in Ponyville. I should work on getting….home?" Pinkie's eyes grew to the size of dinner plates.
Standing there, in the middle of the dark grove, was Sugarcube Corner.
Back in Ponyville, Fluttershy got spooked by something dark appearing at her feet, and retreated into the bushes. Applejack sighed exasperatedly. "Fluttershy, darling, Ah think it's about time we had a talk about this. Ya need to stop jumping at every little thing. That was just yer shadow. Again." Fluttershy stepped out of the bushes, looking down. "B-but Applejack, I was sure it was trying to eat me!" Applejack stared at Fluttershy. "I know it sounds dumb…but…oh, I can't describe it, it's just a feeling I get sometimes, like I'm being watched. A-and followed. And it's gotten worse lately."
Applejack brushed against Fluttershy. "Sugar cube. Ah think its just stress." Fluttershy nodded. "Although," Applejack started to add. "Twilight said that there was some kind of nightmare Pinkie had last night, and this morning she disappeared. How recently has it been since your willies been getting 'worse?'" Fluttershy blinked, and giggled. "Applejack, I really don't think these two things could be related….could they?"
"You're probably right." Applejack admitted. And the two continued searching for their friend, completely unaware that both of their shadows exchanged a completely invisible knowing glance with non-existent eyes.