“Next time, don't forget to ask the bees before you try and take their honey, Mr. Bear." With a sweet smile, Fluttershy hummed as she smeared ointment on the multitude of stings covering the brown bear who was sitting on a fallen log and sulking.
"There we go. It'll heal up in no time!" The bear looked back at her and let out a thankful growl before he turned to walk towards the forest. Everything was so peaceful and quiet here, it was almost like she was in heaven. Every animal was friendly towards each other, the plants and trees were just magnificent, and the birds quietly sang their melodies while flying around. She could just lie here forever, not worrying about anything, just her and the beautiful nature around her.
A distant scream, barely audible, disturbed the peace. It came from the forest right in front of her. Fluttershy tensed up, but she forced herself to calm. She thought it was just her imagination playing with her , but there was a second scream to be heard , this time louder.
Fluttershy stood up and began to walk towards the source of the scream. She paused before the forest, taking a deep breath. The forest looked intimidating from the outside. Inside, however, all the peacefulness was lost. She stepped forward. Neither birds nor bees sang, and their silence fueled Fluttershy’s fear. Yet she decided not to turn around. There was someone in trouble. She couldn't leave the poor thing alone. It was probably hurt, and needed medical treatment right away.
The brightness decreased in an rapid rate, and after awhile Fluttershy could barely see where she was going. There it was again, very close, thrilling Fluttershy with fear. She quickened her pace, nearly running, when suddenly the ground itself seemed to vanish under her hooves. The entire forest started to disappear right in front of her eyes. Full panic gripped Fluttershy. She struggled with herself. "Run away or help, run away or help, run away or help..." . In her confusion she started to fly, heading towards the sound of the scream, as everything behind her seemed to dissolve.
She felt it now; the origin of the scream was directly in front of her. Fluttershy saw the outlines of a pony like figure. She approached the pony flying, when she realized that she did not come any closer. In contrary, the gap between them enlarged. No, no, no, no she thought, trying to fly faster. She put all of her might into her wings. Fluttershy was feeling the exhaustion get the better of her and the flapping of her wings slowed down; every single muscle hurt. She tried to call for help, but no sound escaped her lips.
Fluttershy was not able to hold herself up any longer. Her wing beats slowed down even further, barely keeping her up in the air. “Come on, Come on” she said to herself. Her body refused to obey to her commands now. Her wings stopped flapping, and she fell into the void beneath her.
Fluttershy awoke with a long gasp. She was back at her cottage, inside of her bed. Drowsy, yet happy that it was just a dream she got up on her hooves. She entered the bathroom, brushing her mane quickly.
Fluttershy made her way into the kitchen. She sliced some carrots and placed them outside of Angel’s hole. Afterwards she heated up some water. A tea was exactly what she needed in order to calm down now. While she waited for the water to boil, she looked thoughtfully outside of the window, gazing towards the Everfree Forest. Thinking of it, the forest in her dreams looked rather similar to it.
A shiver went down Fluttershy’s spine when she heard a distant voice screaming. This time it was real, somepony was really in trouble. Her mind tried to think of a solution. Should I call my friends? Twilight would know what to do right now, or at least Rainbow Dash. She was the brave one, not me. She let out a squeak when she heard another scream, before realizing what was happening, she ran anxiously towards the Everfree Forest. Every scream she heard henceforth was louder. She closed distance quickly.
Fluttershy stopped as she was standing before a huge cave. It was looking intimidating and dangerous. Her brain told her to run away, call for help, everything but to go inside.
No matter how much she wanted to run away, she could’nt. “There is no way I’m leaving something in trouble alone” Fluttershy said to reassure herself, before she entered hestitating.
As soon as she trotted inside the scent of rotten flesh immediately twisted her stomach. She observed her surroundings, the wall was covered in moss the ground was bumpy. The air was muggy, which caused a searing pain in her throat whenever she took a breath. She started trotting, being careful not to trip over something in this light forsaken place. She wanted to fly, but there were far too many stalagmites hanging down from the ceiling. Arriving at a crossing, she hesitated for a second before deciding to take the way to the left.
“Where is the pegasus when you need her?” Rainbow Dash let out a sigh, it was Saturday, which meant she and Fluttershy are supposed to practice together. Atleast Dash would be practicing, Fluttershy would just watch and cheer for her. Nevertheless the yellow pegasus was an essential part of her weekly training, her cheer gave Dash the motivation she needed.
It also was one of the rare occasions where they would spend time together. The two pegasi did not have much in common, Dash loved to fly, Fluttershy felt better with her hooves on the ground. Dash loved adventures, Fluttershy wanted everything to be quiet and “boring”, as Dash called it. They were like Day and Night, two totally different sort of ponies.
Yet, Dash loved to spend time with the timid pegasus. She did not know why, but it was the main reason she looked forward to the training sessions with her.
“Well, it seems like I’m on my own today,” she said before dashing into the air. She looped around and spun some clouds, being back at her starting position in no time. But somehow she could not enjoy herself, usually when she was training she felt free and didn’t care about anything, this time it was different. Something or somepony was missing.
Now that she thought it Fluttershy would never be late, let alone not appear at all. Dash could feel that something was wrong, she turned around and dashed off to her cottage.
"Fluttershy?” Dash knocked on her door, but no one answered
“Fluttershy?” she knocked again, this time the door opened up, but not by Fluttershy. Angel looked up to Dash, impatiently waiting for the pegasus to say something.
“Do you know where Fluttershy is?” she asked the bunny, purposely speaking slower than usual. Angel didn’t say anything, but he did point towards the Everfree Forest.
“The Everfree Forest? Is that pony out of her mind?” without waiting for a responde Rainbow Dash burst flying towards the forest. She had no clue where she should start looking for her, but she had to find Fluttershy. What if something happens to her? Simply the thought of this increased her speed.
“Wait, what was that?” she said to nopony in particular. She stopped for a brief moment to concentrate. Dash made out a distant scream. There it is again . It did not come from Fluttershy, but she was certain that the yellow pegasus wasn’t too far away from the origin of the sound. She dashed out off towards the source of the scream. She flew as fast as she possibly could, afraid that she might be too late for.... whatever may have happened.
She arrived at a huge cave. The scream came from inside there, what meant Fluttershy might be there aswell. Without hesitation she flew inside, the stench of rotting flesh sickened her instantly, but she pulled herself together and proceeded to fly towards the voice.
After her eyes got used to the lack of light in the cave, she started to see where she was heading. Dash stood before a crossing, one path leading to the left and one to the right.
Closing her eyes, she tried to make out any noise that could lead her way. She heard a distant noise, it was someone breathing. No, not breathing, panting. Somepony was in serious danger. She followed the noise until she reached its origin. It was a pony, a unicorn, with a blue mane and a moon with a wand as her cutie mark.
“No way,” Dash said. It was Trixie, and she was severely injured.
Dash didn’t know what to do; the unicorn obviously needed help, but she had to find Fluttershy. “I guess it can’t be helped”, she sighed lifting Trixie up on her back.
Now she had to find Fluttershy, if she would’ve followed the screams, she had to be in this cave and if she took the same way as Dash, Fluttershy would’ve found Trixie and returned, or at least be with her. “So she took the other way” Dash concluded flying the way back until she arrived at the crossing, this time taking the left path.
Rainbow found herself in a huge room. The walls had strange paintings on them, and it looked like something was written on the ground, but it wasn’t in any language she was familiar with it.Dash didn't pay too much attention to her surroundings, she was busy trying to find Fluttershy here. She flew some circles around the room. She had nearly given up and wanting to look for her somewhere else, but then she detected a movement from the corner of the room. It was a huge relief when she could confirm that it was indeed Fluttershy, but then she realized that the pegasus was unconscious. Her breathing was irregular, which couldn't mean anything good.
Rainbow Dash gently put Fluttershy on her back and burst off. Approaching the entrance of the room, she slowed down.
"Damn it." she said under her breath. Fluttershy needed medical treatment right away, but she couldn't leave anypony to die, no matter how much Rainbow hated Trixie. It took some time, but in the end she somehow managed to get both of them on her back. She started to fly towards Ponyville, out of this disturbing cave. She tried to speed up, but she just couldn't. The added weight of two ponies slowed her down too much. At this rate she would need hours to arrive in Ponyville, time she did not have. Fluttershy was now breathing a lot louder, and Dash could feel her heartbeat. It was irregular. Seeing her lifelong friend in this state was incredibly painful for her. What would she do if Fluttershy wasn't able to survive this?
Before she met Fluttershy, Dash was alone. She had to prove to everypony that she was the fastest, bravest flier in all of Equestria, and they all just liked her because of this. With Fluttershy it was different. Dash could just be herself. She didn't need to prove anything to her; she just accepted her, no matter what. The thought of losing her was unbearable, and she shed some tears while flying. Every single muscle in her wings were in intense pain. Her whole body begged for a break, but Dash couldn't allow that. "A pair of broken wings is not nearly as bad as a lost friend" she thought. After some time Dash realized that she didn't feel any heartbeat from Fluttershy anymore. She listened carefully. There was no heartbeat. Her eyes were now widened because of the shock.
"Oh nononononoono," She said while she was trying to build up more speed. "Come on stupid wings, hurry up!" She furiously flapped her wings now. The pain nearly made her fall into unconsciousness. She hadn't been in any agony like this before. But she had no intention of slowing down. Dash was now screaming in pain. Finally, she could make out the outlines of Ponyville. She had nearly done it. Pulling off one last dash, she raced towards Ponyville, and crashed down just before the hospital. Dash tried to stand up, but her body refused to. She couldn't move one single muscle.
"Just a few more steps..." was her last thought before blacking out.