The moon was chillingly beautiful. The young filly watched it silently; a rare moment of reverence for her normally exuberant personality. A chill ran through her tiny frame and she pulled the thin material closer around her fledgling wings, trying to trap her frail body heat beneath the scarlet cape and emblem. A smile pulled at the corner of her mouth as her lavender eyes caught sight of the insigna. The symbol glittered in the moonlight, tendrils of frost having begun to collect on the surface of the cape. Winter was coming - and soon.
Her eyes fell away from the frost as she dismissed it. So what if it was cold? The filly nestled closer betwixt the wooden beams of her residence and closed her eyes tight in defiance. There was no time to worry about that now. Now it was time to sleep. Every filly knew the moon meant that, and even she didn’t have the energy to fight its silent nocturne. “Goodnight, mom. Goodnight, dad. I love you…” she called out softly. The answer was the same every night. Silence; only broken by the creaking of the aged structure warping with the change of season. The eerie creaks of the empty room would have frightened most, but this was her clubhouse. Unknown to her two best friends, it had also been her home for several months now.
Scootaloo curled into herself and tried to will herself to sleep before the cold could set in and keep her awake. Fitful hours passed before she hazy lapse into unconsciousness took her trembling body, and with a final exhale of steam rising from her mouth she fell asleep.
Sunrise brought with it a new world. The tiny frost crystals had seemingly taken seed and overtaken the landscape. It was as if the world had been waiting too long for too little and suddenly allowed its need to flood the earth with a bone chilling cold. Dawn cascaded through the foliage surrounding the small structure, the gentle rays illuminating everything but the tiny huddled figure in the farthest corner of its shelter.
As early as it was, she would not expect anypony to be out looking for her. The gentle nudge that slowly brought her to consciousness came as a shock, and she started as her eyes snapped open and rose to meet the gaze of the mare looming over her. A yelp broke forth from her as she tried to push herself to her feet and clamber back away from the stranger. “What the hay?! Who are you?!” She cried, eyes widening as the adult took a step closer. As the surprise wore off, her tone turned to annoyance as she took note the sun had not even barely risen yet through the clubhouse window. “What the hay lady, why’d you wake me up? The sun isn’t even all the way up!”
Only then, taking back control of her situation did the filly take a good look at the stranger. The mare looked like an Alicorn, old and worn far past even what Celestia looked like. Her pelt had faded drastically through age and had a dull luster of muted grey to it. Her wings hung low at her sides now, the feathers thin and barren; only soft down clinging to them. Her mane shone no stars or celestial decadence, but draped around her like a white cowl, solemn and straight. What took Scootaloo aback the most was the horn. It had been snapped in two, with thin hairline cracks running through it. They all fell to a point just above her eyes; the saddest brown eyes that Scootaloo had ever seen, that had fixated down upon her.
Meeting those eyes caused a lump to rise in her throat, and she struggled to swallow it before wrenching her gaze away and casting a sidelong glance at the Alicorn. “W-who…who are you…and w-why’d you wake me up?” The mare stood silent for a few moments more before she closed her eyes and bowed her head, shaking it slowly. “Scootaloo…I’m so sorry…b-” “How’d you know my name?!” The mare winced at the outburst before stomping a hoof resolutely to silence the filly and continue. “I’m so sorry…sweetie…I didn’t wake you. You never woke up this morning.”
The tension in the air almost made her choke on the lump. Tears stung her eyes as she shook her head and took another step back. “You’re lying.” she whispered, her voice unintentionally harsh as she continued to back away. It was then her hoof hit something solid. She expected the sound of it meeting wood, but it only made a dull thud as it collided with the object. Slowly, she turned her head to see what it was. She felt ill as her heart fell deep into her stomach and she stared, transfixed at the tiny bundle that lie there. It was wrapped in her cape. Its visage was marred by the violet tendrils of its mane. It was her, and it wasn’t breathing anymore.