I - am that is, My sword will wield for me.
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You ever have that feeling where every single molecule of your being is torn apart piece by piece and slowly reassembled again. Yeah, turns out it hurts like hell.
Man, this was the single most painful experience of my life and of my death too. It made the agony I went through at the banishment ritual seem like a paper cut. You know, I had thought the whole being dead thing meant not having to feel pain any more, but apparently I was misinformed.
Heck, it’s not like I had a user guide for this whole being dead thing. Well, Zecora had tried explaining some of it to me but the whole not being able to ask questions kind of made it a one sided lecture. It felt like I was back in my business analysis class but the teacher insisted on talking in rhymes and silly anecdotes. So, I had kind of zoned out after the first fifteen minutes of her rambling.
As I find myself in some kind of white void, I really wished I had paid more attention to her now. Knowing my luck she probably mentioned something about what was happening after I had tuned her out.
Oh, falling again, fantastic! Hay, I can actually feel the wind this time round though. I stare around at the white expanse of nothingness surrounding me wondering just what in the name of Zeus’s toga was going on.
As I’m peering around, I notice that there appears to be a black speck below me, which is quickly becoming larger and larger. As I continue to fall, the speck materializes into the familiar grid work of Ponyville. As I approach the village at a startling pace I notice that some of the buildings seem to be odd, well, odder then usual I guess.
Some of the buildings seem to be of strange proportions, either smaller or larger then they usually are. Some buildings seem to be in the wrong location and some of my favorite locations around town seem to have vanished altogether.
Hoping I still had one of my favorite abilities, I close my eyes and will myself to come to a stop, If this didn’t work I was pretty sure I was going to die for a second time. When I didn’t feel my old enemy known as the ground smashing into me, I opened my eyes to see myself suspended about five feet above said arch nemesis.
Grinning in relief, I lower myself onto the ground and feel my feet make contact with the dirt. Holy Swiss cheese Batman! I can feel the ground! I wiggle my toes in delight in the cold soil.
After a few minutes of indulging myself in playing in the dirt, I walk over to one of the buildings. I couldn’t get over the novelty of actually walking somewhere again; I had forgotten how much I had missed it.
I begin wandering around the streets and the first thing I notice is the distinct lack of pastel ponies around.
Oh wait, there’s one now. Oh wait, that’s Lyra running towards me. Oh wait, she’s running right by me. Oh wait, she’s being chased by a large ball of fur, claws and wings. Oh wait, that ball of horror is a Manticore… that was chasing Lyra…who just ran right past me…so I’m between it and her.
RUN! Run like a Manticore is chasing you. Well there is a Manticore chasing me so I turn on my heels and run off after Lyra.
One frantic fleeing later, I have caught up to Lyra, surprisingly able to keep pace with her. She turns to peer at me, a look of terror on her face.
Of course I couldn’t help myself, “So, pleasant day for a run.” I casually offer as we are running through the side streets of Ponyville.
“Huh? Wha? What in the hay is going on?”
“Well, using my amazing powers of reasoning I’m assuming that you’re afraid of Manticore’s.”
“Well, yeah. Everypony is afraid of Manticore’s.”
“Who wouldn’t be afraid of that walking ball of death? But anyways, I think you might have an issue or two to work through since you’re having a nightmare about being chased by a rather large example of said fear through the streets of Ponyville.”
“What in the hay are you talking about?”
By this time we have begun weaving down alleyways, the Manticore is only a street or two behind us. As we pass by a pile of trash I grab ahold of one of the trash can lids.
“Look, you just keep running, I’ll distract Mr. Fluffy.”
“WHAT? Are you crazy?”
We break free of the alleyway as the Manticore came into view at the other end. I whirl around and face down the passageway between the two buildings as the Manticore comes charging at me. I call after Lyra’s fleeing form, “Of course I’m crazy, I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t.”
When the Manticore gets within a dozen or so yards from me I hold the lid as if it’s a Frisbee and chuck it down the alleyway at the form of the onrushing tank. Without even looking to see if I hit the thing, I sprint off in the opposite direction that Lyra took.
Hearing at soft clunk and a load roar behind me, I know that my idiotic plan had worked and the Manticore was chasing after me as I tore down the main street in Ponyville. Hmm, what the heck should I do now? I really doubt I can outrun it out in the open. Well, I don’t know if I can phase through anything while I’m in Lyra’s dream, but I might still be able to fly.
I concentrate and immediately I feel myself pulled into the air, rising above the buildings. I whirl around to look at the Manticore below me and blow it a raspberry. “Ha, whatcha going to do now you overgrown kitten.”
At this the Manticore spreads it’s bat-like wings and flings itself into the air. Oh…buck me to the moon. Before I knew it, the Manticore was about to ram into me, so I did the first stupid thing that came to mind…I swatted it on the nose.
“NO, that’s a bad Kitty.” Floating there, above the dreamscape, the Manticore looks back at me in confusion as it slowly flaps its wings.
“Now go home and leave Lyra alone. Now shoo.” I say in a stern tone as I wave my hands at it.
It tilts its head to the side before slowly turning around and flying off into the white void that surrounded the town.
Completely surprised that my idiotic actions hadn’t gotten me mauled (for all I know I could get seriously injured inside of a dream) I float there for a few seconds in disbelief. Shaking my head to try and clear away my confusion, I float around the town until I see a certain unicorn running through the market place.
Willing myself downwards, I level myself off next to her as she continues running with abandon.
“You know the Manticore is gone right?” I ask nonchalantly.
Lyra looks over at me, doing the backstroke in midair next to her, and she trips over her own hooves.
As she groans on the ground, I land next to her and help her into a sitting position.
She stares at me for a few seconds and I just stare back with one of my eyebrows slightly raised.
“I…Wha…What is going on?” She finally spits out.
“Weeeeell, like I said before, you’re dreaming at the moment and I think I might of hitched a ride.”
“That makes no sense what so ever. I mean what the hay are you? How could I be dreaming about something I have never even seen before?”
“Oh that’s easy, I’m a ghost.”
Lyra’s jaw drops, “WHAT? A ghost of what exactly?”
“A ghost of a human”
“A human, me, moi, the figure standing before you being a prime example of a human.”
“I am sooo confused right now.”
“If so you should be confused more often because it makes you look adorable.”
At this she closes her mouth and a look of indignation appears on her face.
Laughing at this I sit down on the ground in front of her. She looks me up and down for a few seconds before speaking up.
“If that’s true, not saying that I believe you, what are you doing in my dream?”
“Well, it started this morning when I decided to follow you around town to try and amuse myself for a while. I listened in on your little jam session you had with Vinyl and Octavia, that was pretty cool by the way, and I was about to leave when the three of you feel asleep.” Lyra’s eyes are beginning to get bigger and bigger in either horror or amazement, I really can’t tell. “As I was passing your bed I saw that you were having a nightmare and I was trying to move a strand of your mane out of your face. Before I knew what was going on, I was dragged in heer. Which was really painful by the way; I never want to go through that again.”
“That is the creepiest thing I have ever heard”
“What the following you around part or getting dragged into your dream part?”
“Both. I mean, where do you get off just following ponies around. Are you some kind of stalker or something?”
“Well, the whole being dead thing makes it a little difficult to ask if the ponies want to hang out, so I just follow around ponies that I think are cool. That and I really can’t hang out with Twilight at the moment and the only other pony that actively tries to talk to me is Pinkie.”
“Are you telling me that Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie know that you are around town?”
“Yeah, actually all of the elements of harmony know that I’m around town but the only ones I’ve really been able to communicate with are Pinkie and Twilight. Rarity seems to be too busy to deal with me, I’m trying to not hang out with Fluttershy so I don’t scare the poor mare, Applejack still thinks I’m an elaborate prank of Pinkies and Rainbow is still a little afraid of me.”
“Then why aren’t you hanging out with Pinkie or Twilight?” By this point, Lyra has laid down, looking more intrigued then angry or scared at the moment.
“Well, I’ve been hanging out at Sugar Cube Corner quite a bit for the past six weeks since the twins seem to really like me. So, I keep an eye on them for about half an hour every morning before I would go down to see what Pinkie was doing. Hanging out with her gets really depressing after a while though.”
“Why’s that. Pinkie’s a blast to be around.”
“That’s very true, but it’s not like I can hold up my own end of a conversation. So Pinkie just starts rambling on and on about random things after a while. I’m pretty sure the Cakes would have institutionalized her if they couldn’t rationalize it as her just being Pinkie Pie. Then there’s the fact that she keeps offering me cupcakes. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to eat one of her cupcakes. It’s just the whole being dead thing makes it kind of difficult to digest anything and it just gets depressing after a while.”
“That is kind of sad…”
“You’re telling me. There’s also the fact that the Crusaders stop by every now and then to try and get a picture of me. It’s quite endearing really but I don’t want them wasting all their time trying to get their Cutie Marks for ghost hunting. I mean they have enough problems without giving their classmates any other reasons to make fun of them.”
“Wait, do you mean that those three know about you too?” She asks, tilting her head to the side.
“Well, Kind of. They know that there is a spirit around and they do kind of have a picture of me, but I just showed up as some white mist behind them. Also, foals and animals seem to at least be able to sense I’m around but older ponies are totally oblivious.”
“That makes sense, I guess. So why don’t you hang out with Twilight then if you can’t hang out with Pinkie?”
“Well that’s a whole new can of worms.” She looks confused at this statement but I continue anyway. “Twilight is rather…Intrigued with me I guess. I tried to answer all of her questions but it was rather…tedious. She would ask me a question and then I would have to scrawl an answer for her. It would take forever and honestly I wasted quite a bit of paper. It’s a lot harder to write with a quill then I thought it would be. I’m lucky if I can write three sentences in under fifteen minutes in all honesty. By the end of it she got rather frustrated and stormed off saying something about doing research the old fashioned way.” I lean back and stretch. “So I decided to just let her be so she can study in peace. By the end of that week I decided to just follow around any pony I thought would be interesting which ended up with our pleasant little chat right now. I must say it’s nice to talk to somepony that can actually hear me.”
Lyra giggles at this, “Is that why you’re telling me all of this? You just want somepony to talk to?”
“Well that and I’m pretty sure you’re not going to remember any of this when you wake up, I mean I hardly ever remembered any of my dreams so I’m assuming if you do remember this you’ll just assume it was a regular dream.”
“Well now you’re just making me depressed.” She pouts a little bit which just makes me laugh. We sit there for a second or two before she speaks up, “So you’ve told me what you are, but you never told me your name. You do have a name don’t you?”
“Well yes I did have one when I was alive but it really doesn’t fit anymore.” I rub my beard as I think. “Weeell, Pinkie calls me her ‘Spooky Friend’, just call me Spooky then.”
“I guess it’s nice to meet you then Spooky.” She says holding her hoof forward. I grasp it with my hand and nod to her, “Likewise Lyra.”
We sit there for a few more seconds before I notice that the tops of the building’s surrounding us are beginning to disappear into the white void.
“Well, Lyra it certainly was a pleasure but I think you might be waking up now. I know we won’t be able to talk again but I’ll keep an eye out for you.”
She smiles, “Thanks Spooky, your one of the nicer dreams I’ve had in a while.”
I laugh at this as the rest of the buildings disappear along with Lyra. I’m left floating in the white expanse of nothingness. Hmm, I hope I’m not stuck in Lyra’s head, good god that would be awkward. A sudden pain flairs through my body as I feel a sharp yank between my shoulder blades.
Once again, I feel the process of slowly disintegrating into individual pieces and reassembling in Lyra’s room. Owwww, I am DEFINITELY never doing that again, way too painful.
I turn to the bedroom wall, ready to float out into the morning when I hear Lyra behind me, “Spooky? I thought you were a dream!”
I whip around to see Lyra staring at me, “You can see me?” Nod, “You can HEAR me?” Nod once again.
I throw my arms in the air letting out a loud “WOOHOO” as Lyra’s eye’s rollback in her head and she slumps down onto her pillow.