It was yet another bright and sunny day. More than content with her new alias the young filly trotted merrily alongside her friends Snapple Jack and Equal Balance. "Summer Heart. I love it!" she said in her mind smiling. "Hmm...I wonder what we would call Luna if she were here." Thoughts of her younger sister returned to her. Not even gone two days, she was already beginning to miss the one thing she regretfully left behind. Though this dampened her mood she would not let it get the best of her today. The young filly was determined to see the world and she had new friends to see it with.
The caravan had been following the same stretch of road for some time now, but something seemed a bit unusual with the ponies. They were close to the edge of a rather dark and eerie forest that was to their right on the trail. Everypony seemed to be on edge, glancing nervously around as they headed towards their destination...wherever that was.
Summer, as she now happily referred to herself, remained unaware of whatever was bothering them. "So what are we doing today? We've been walking for an awfully long time now."
The cinnamon pegasus also seemed to be at ease. "We're walking all day. We are a traveling caravan you know. Besides we're also supposed to be super careful around this forest according to the grown ups so we're not supposed to run off." Summers ears drooped as her mood was somewhat dampened. It wasn't that she didn't like the idea of traveling, but being the young and impatient filly she is Summer craved excitement. "But what they don't know won't hurt them." Snapple grinned deviously as she worked together a master plan in her mind. The alicorn perked back up at the very thought.
Unlike Summer and Snapple, Equal Balance was slightly less content with the idea. "Are you sure Snapps? I mean the last time we sneaked off like that we got grounded for a week. Imagine how bad it could be if we got caught when we're by the Everfree forest."
Summer recognized the name Everfree, but she wasn't sure where she had heard it before. "What's so scary about it anyways? Everfree isn't exactly a scary name for a forest." she thought for a moment. "Now calling it The Evil Shadow Woods, that's scary sounding."
Snapple nodded "See? I doubt it's even that bad at all. Everyone says there's monsters and all sorts of nasty stuff inside, but I'll bet ya ten bits it's just to keep us from running in and getting lost."
The white earth pony, Equal, was rather surprised at his friends reasoning. It was surprisingly sensible for the rascally pegasus. "I suppose you're right. So what's the big plan this time?"
She pulled her two friends in close as Snapple began to speak quietly. "Alright, here's what we have to do..."
"How did that even work?!" The alicorn was absolutely baffled at their successful escape. "A pillow and some silly string. That's all it took to get that cart to do that?!"
Snapple was laughing hysterically all the while. "Don't forget the fireworks you set off with your magic, that was genius!"
The earth pony just put a hoof to his face. "Let's not do that again. If we had gotten caught it would have been way more than a week."
"That's right. If we had gotten caught. Now we're in the clear for at least an hour so what do you guys wanna do?" Just as Snapple spoke those words a small butterfly landed on her nose. Its wings were faintly glowing blue as Snapple just stared at it. The moment she moved, the glowing butterfly took flight once again and began headed away from the forest. "That butterfly is glowing! That's so cool...we should catch it!"
"Winner gets to keep it!" Equal declared with newly found enthusiasm.
The three of them chased the small insect around. Summer was rather perplexed as to why you would chase around a bug of all things, but she enjoyed the silliness of it all nonetheless. It was at this time that the glowing butterfly came towards her. "This is my chance." she thought. "I just have to reach out an-...who turned out the lights?" A shadow suddenly cast over them all. "Huh? But there's not even any clouds up there."
"S-summer..." the cinnamon pegasus whimpered.
"Well, well, what have we here." A powerful booming voice said from behind them. Summer turned around to find standing behind her was a massive dragon. Scales as black as night, razor sharp teeth glistening as it smiled, and standing far taller than any mere pony could ever hope to be. "Three little foals wandering on their own. How unfortunate that you had to cross my path during feeding time."
"Umm...did you want the glowing butterfly?"
The dragon looked at the alicorn and burst out into a fit of laughter. "T-that was priceless! Just for that I'm going to eat you last. Consider it my gift to you." Wiping a tear from his eye the dragon reached over to Snapple Jack and grabbed the helpless pegasus by her wings. Struggle as she might to free herself his grasp was far too strong. "Now hold still you two. I don't really feel like having to get up and chase you around." The dragon opened his large maw, smoke pouring out as he prepared to eat his next meal. Just as the filly neared his mouth the dragon dropped her and roared in pain as he clutched his right eye. "Alright, which one of you threw that?!" Summer was standing proudly with a small rock levitating beside her. "Why you little...come here you!" He reached out, only to Summer throw it right at his eye again. Roaring in pain fire spewed from his mouth, scorching the grass around them to ashes. "Eating you will be a real treat you little brat!"
"Only if you can catch me!" Summer stuck out her tongue and began running into the nearby forest. "I hope he follows me in here. There's no way he'll be able to find me in a forest. Then Snapple and Equal can get away. It's perfect!" Behind her she could hear the heavy thud of the dragons footsteps pursuing her. "Looks like it worked." It was then the young filly realized one small problem. "Oh no it worked!"
Inside the forest many strange noises could be heard. Most of them, however, were drowned out by the sounds of a massive dragon chasing an alicorn filly. The dragons form was large and rather clumsy in the dense brush of the forest. His body smashed in to trees and crushed plants below him as he stomped his way towards his prey. Summers small body was far better suited to the environment, but she was no athlete. The poor filly was already feeling the strain on her body. Fatigue quickly setting in as the dragon continued to close the distance between them. Luckily she was able to get out of its line of sight long enough to hide in a thick bush. A few branches scratched her as she entered, but it was nothing compared to what she knew that dragon would do when he caught her.
"Come out foal! I tire of this pointless chase. You know you can't hide from me forever!" His voice roared out over the forest causing many small animals to flee in fear. For what felt to her like an eternity mere minutes would pass as the colossal beast scoured the ground. Swiping his sharp claws everywhere in a fit of rage.
Suddenly Summer couldn't hear him anymore. It wasn't just him, however, the entire forest was dead silent. Not so much as a chirp from a bird. "Is...is he gone?" Curious, yet incredibly cautious, she slowly poked her head out of the bush to look around. "I don't see him...I think I did it. I got away!" She stepped out of her hiding spot and sighed in relief.
"When the forest is quiet it means the predator is stalking its prey." Summer froze as the familiar voice sounded from above her. She looked up to see it dropping to the ground, smiling and barring its teeth as it landed over her with a tremendous thud. "Now you annoying little pony, time to pay for throwing those rocks at your superior." The dragon leaned its face in mere inches away from hers. "Perhaps I should char broil you first." The dragon took a deep breath, an unbearable amount of heat emanated from the gaping maw.
Summers eyes watered as she covered them with her hooves. "P-please...somepony, anypony. Help!" With a mighty roar, intense flames began spewing from its mouth as they washed over Summer. It was then the young filly's horn began to glow. She felt hot, but not because of the fire. Energy was suddenly rising inside her, more than she could contain. Feeling like she was about to burst all of the energy suddenly shot out around her. Reality itself seemed to tear apart as a sudden explosion of magic sent the dragon forcefully to the ground. The air around her was distorted and twisted as the magic flew freely from her body. Fearing whatever had just happened the dragon took flight and escaped the source of this power.
Bolts of power flew in all direction sundering the nearby trees and tearing others from their mighty roots. She couldn't control it. There was simply too much for any normal pony to handle. The ground beneath her began to crack apart as the power shook the earth. In front of her a small light appeared in the distortion, then everything went black.
The young alicorn began to stir. She could hear something walking over to her, its steps softly touching the ground. Summer opened her eyes to see who it could be only to not believe what stood beside her. A creature, no larger than she, that seemed to be made up of many different animals. Its head that of a pony with mismatched horns, the body of a serpent, a feathered wing alongside a leathery bat-like one, and a mixed variety when it came to its legs. Despite its unusual nature the creature seemed to shy away from Summer, as though it were frightened of her.
"W-...who are you?"