Rainbow Dash shifted underneath her thin, white covers. She had packed extra blankets to shield herself from the cold. Sadly, they did not do their job. The mountain’s frigid winds blew through the holes in her shelter. She shivered as the cold crept up her spine. But the blistering cold was a welcome relief from the thoughts that plagued her mind. She hadn’t slept much last night. She tried not to think about, but to no avail. She gritted her teeth as a groan escaped her muzzle. She closed her eyes in an attempt to get a few more minutes of sleep before her friends would drag her into the snowy mountains that surrounded their camp.
She let out a soft yawn as she pulled the blankets over her cold shoulders, lying flat on her back. Suddenly, a single drop of rain fell on her face. She gritted her teeth as a groan escaped her muzzle. After the events of last night, the Pegasus never found the time to finish her shelter before nightfall. And as fate would have it, she had positioned her bed right below the hole in her roof. She rolled over, lying on her side, pulling her covers closer once again.
Another raindrop fell on her ear. She flicked it about, shaking the water off. But the war was not over yet. more and more of the subtle raindrops started to grace her mane. Normally, the weather pony would adore waking up like this. But she wasn’t quite herself these days. Guess we all come undone time to time. But Rainbow had always been to proud to admit that she needed help with something. No, this was just another rough patch that she would have to get through.
The rain increased it’s assault on the Pegasus’ bed. It got to the point where she simply couldn’t take the taunting drops any longer. She sat upright in her bed, the blankets still covering her up to her waist. Rainbow had not felt this miserable in a long time. The journey had weighed down on her head. She was out here alone, miles away from the place she called home. A part of her screamed for her to get home but she couldn’t leave her friends, not like this.
She had herself to blame. The Pegasus had always wanted everything that she couldn’t get. The princess’ rejection had only strengthened Rainbow’s feelings for her. Yet this somehow felt different. She genuinely cared for Luna. And up until now, she thought the alicorn did the same for her. Had she been lying to herself? Had it been nothing more than just another one of the beautiful lies that Rainbow had told herself far too many times before? She sighed in contemplation. “I know what I felt..” She thought back at the seemingly little time that she had spent with Luna. A light, bubbly feeling appeared in her stomach as she smiled.
Last night’s events made their inevitable appearance in her mind. Suddenly, the bubbly feeling was replaced by one of anger. “How could she lead me on like that!?” Rainbow exclaimed. The cyan mare had broken her fair share of hearts in her days, but her own had always remained intact. She found that the first cuts were often the deepest. It was her heart that had been broken this time.
“I need to clear my thoughts..” she whispered. She kicked her covers off herself and struggled to get up from the messy pile of pillows that had functioned as her bed last night. A quick brush through her mane and she was off into the morning air. She shivered slightly at first but the Pegasus had endured worse weather before. It was “Too cold outside for angels to fly.” as her mother used to say. She smiled softly as her hooves hit the soft snow for the first time that day.
The young Pegasus could feel the soft touch of the silken sheets graze her coat as she shifted in the fresh, morning air that flowed through the slightly opened window. She had never woken up like this before. She arched her back, yawning loudly as she did. The day that she was about to face didn’t matter right now. She could enjoy the soft embrace of slumber for at least a couple more minutes and that was enough for her. The Pegasus had learned to be content with the little things.
Suddenly, her ears perked. A strange sound filled the air. A look of worry appeared on her face as she looked at the unicorn that lied beside her. Sweetie Belle was sweating heavily from head to hoof. Her breathing had become quick and frantic. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as she moved in her sleep, her blankets covering her up to her waist. Shivering whimpers escaped the unicorns muzzle.
“Sweets? What’s wrong!? Are you hurt? are you cold?” Scootaloo exclaimed as she got up on her hooves, throwing her blankets off herself. The unicorn continued to shake heavily as she tumbled about. Scootaloo had no clue of what to do, but she had to do something! The terrified Pegasus jumped off the bed and began to search the room for every blanket that she could find.
Sweetie Belle wasn’t exactly cooperating. Scootaloo struggled to get the covers around the unicorn that was still flailing about. Running out of options, she got on top of the Sweetie Belle, forcing her legs into the bed. She threw the blankets over the shivering unicorn, tucking her in as tightly as possible. Scootaloo jumped atop the other pony once again, embracing her with her entire body as they lied face to face.
The unicorn just wouldn’t stop shivering. Scootaloo pressed her forehead against Sweetie Belle’s as tears rolled down her cheeks. The unicorn’s coat was damp with sweat, her hasted breathing sounded louder than ever. “I’m here Sweets..” she whispered, her muzzle still pressed against the unicorn’s head. She tightened her hold over Sweetie’s body. “I’m right here..”
The filly was mumbling something in her sleep. Scootaloo still couldn’t make out the words, even at such a close distance. She pressed her face into Sweetie Belle’s pillow, staining it with tears as their cheeks pressed against each other. The small Pegasus covered the two of them with her wings as she held the shivering filly tightly.
Sweetie Belle lied in a small puddle of blackened water. shivering in the dark.. It was just light enough to make out the walls and shapes of the place. The stone floor was filled with large, uneven cracks. Four Huge, broken chains in each corner of the massive room. It was clear to the filly that this room was once a prison to someone.. Or something..
She felt tired, exhausted really.. It was as if every ounce of energy was drained from her body, she couldn’t even move her limbs.. The tip of her mane hung in the dark, corrupted water.. The air was completely silent, not a sound to be heard. Yet she didn’t feel like she was alone.. She felt.. something.. She couldn’t see it nor hear it but she knew it was there..
The filly refused to fall asleep.. That’s when the nightmares come.. Suddenly, the shadows began to gather, first little furtive ones on the floor, and then bolder ones in the dark panelled corners.. Her heart filled with fear as a dark voice shook the air of the place. “Why do you persist? Why do you hold on to something that you have already lost? You will fall asleep again, it is inevitable. And when that happens... I will have you.” The being sounded like it spoke with multiple voices at once. One was that of an angry colt, the other of a little filly, and the last of an elder mare.
Tears started to roll down her face. Her eyes dreary eyes drooped down, closing slightly. She collapsed to the floor, landing on her side in the cold, black puddle below. A soft splash could be heard as her head hit the floor. “I.. Just want my sister..” she sobbed. “Why wont you just leave me alone!?” she pleaded.
“Why do you resist us?” Anger seemed to dominate the normally emotionless voice. “Submit, now! Your hope is irrelevant!” it yelled, causing the water on the floor to ripple.
“Submit to what!? I don’t know what you want!” she exclaimed. “I’ll give you anything! Please, just let me go!” The unicorn was on the verge of tears. “Who are you!? What is your name?” she screamed. All of the light faded from the massive prison, leaving only shadows in its wake. An uneasy feeling overwhelmed her mind.
“I am the lucid dream...” An unsettling silence filled the air. “The monster in your nightmares...” Anger crept into the voice once again as it increased in volume. “The fiend of a thousand faces! Bow down before me!” Sweetie Belle's world went black like it had done for countless times already.
"If I must tear you apart I will..."
The sound of hooves hitting the snow filled the air as the seven ponies made their way through the cold mountainous hills that laid at the top of Equestria. The crisp morning air flowed past their heads as they continues their march through the solitary landscape. Twilight walked at the front of the group, levitating a map in front of her face as she did.
A boat was awaiting at the snowy shoreline to take them to their destination. They would finally get some rest after a week’s journey through the lands that laid above Canterlot. Far away from the rural town of Ponyville. Far away from their friends and family.
Twilight, Rainbow, and Applejack were closely examining the map. The hardened earth pony had taken a leadership position in the group. If there was anyone that knew how to survive in a harsh environment it was her. Rainbow and AJ were locked in a conversation about the strange, violent weather that they were having since they left on their journey. The massive white mountains towered around the.
Suddenly, Applejack stopped in her tracks, causing the rest of the group to halt. The seven ponies looked forward in amazement. A massive passage had been carved out of the mountain, allowing the road to run through. The cave’s ceiling was at least thirty feet high, and nearly just as wide.
The frozen walls of the place were stained with rain and snow. It looked like the passage hadn’t seen use in ages. “This place is huge!” Pinkie exclaimed with her hooves in the air, her voice echoing through the frozen caves. Several torches hung, high on the walls.
“Probably because larger creatures used these tunnels as well.” Twilight explained. “Dragons, most likely.” she said as she examined the massive claw markings that were dug into the icy walls. This thought sent shivers down Fluttershy’s spine. “D-dragons?” she whispered as she dug her face into its usual hiding spot, Rarity’s mane.
“Do not worry.” Luna said. “The dragons have left these parts of Equestria long ago.” her voice echoed through the air. “I wonder how they dug this out..” she said as she examined the massive ceiling. Several figures of ponies, gryphons, and dragons were carved into the frozen ceiling. The light at the end of the tunnel became brighter and brighter as they approached.
The northern shoreline was truly a sight to behold. An army of massive white mountains stood at their back. In front of them laid the seemingly endless, cold sea. The waves raged against the mountainsides, creating a deafening sound. The cold sea air blew past them, sending shivers down their spines. The seven ponies marched over to the edge of the land. Looking down into the sea that laid below.
For a moment they just stood there, admiring the incredible atmosphere. The mountains looming above, the endless sea stretching out in front of you. It could make somepony feel so.. small and insignificant. Suddenly, Applejack noticed the absence of boat. This was the place she was sure of it., yet they were alone. She searched the snowy shoreline once more.
"Girls.. We might have a tiny bit of a problem here.." The earth pony said as she turned to the group. "Wasn't there supposed to be some sort of boat in this here clearing?" The six ponies answered by frantically searching the shoreline for a sign of life.
"That's impossible.." Twilight groaned in annoyance. “What happened to it!?” she exclaimed.
“Looters, pirates, It doesn’t really matter. But it’s not coming and have no way of contacting Celestia from here.” Luna said. Trying to make something of the situation.
Twilight’s inner control freak got the better of her. “Nononono!” she raged. “Then how the hell are we supposed to cross this thing!?” she yelled as she put a hoof to the water, shivering slightly as she did. “I’m not swimming. And we can’t turn back now. We’ve waisted enough time as it is!” Her brain had rarely been as clouded.
“Calm down, Sugarcube..” Applejack said softly as she put a comferting hoof to Twilight’s shoulder. “We’ll find a way, Ah promise.” Silence filled the air. At the time, it seemed like it was hopeless.
“Why don’t we just fly?”
The group turned their heads to the cyan Pegasus, resting on one of the large rocks that laid across the shoreline. “Fly, Dash.. Really?” Applejack said.
“Why not?” she shrugged.
“Ah don’t have wings?”
"This is why ah can't have nice things.." Applejack groaned as she stood atop the large mountain the stood against the cold, northern shoreline. The wind raged past their head. She stretched her wings in the sky, Luna, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash standing next to her.
“The spell should last long enough get us across.” Twilight said as she peered at the tiny strip of land that could be seen on the horizon. “It’s simple. Rainbow will carry Pinkie, Luna will carry me, and Fluttershy will carry Rarity.” This caused Rainbow’s ears to perk.
She turned her head to her timid friend. “Are you sure Shy? It’s quite the flight..” Rainbow said as she looked into the massive sea that laid before them. Fluttershy nodded in response. She wore a look of determination on her face that her friends hadn’t come to expect from the shy mare.
“It’s our best option.” Twilight explained as she walked over to Luna, who gave her a soft smile. “Are you ready princess?” The unicorn said. “OK. I’ll go fir-”
“Out of my way!” Pinkie exclaimed as she pushed her friends aside, jumping atop Rainbow’s back. The pegasus collapsed under the sudden weight of the pink mare. She giggled loudly as she positioned herself on Rainbow’s back. “Hiho Dashie, away!” she yelled. “Pinkie! Get off me!” Dash yelled.
Meanwhile, Rarity was carefully climbing a top Fluttershy’s back. She may have been timid and shy, but years of flying with her birds had granted Fluttershy an athletic build. Rarity was surprised at how her love didn’t move a single muscle as the unicorn got up on her back, wrapping her arms around the Fluttershy’s chest.
Several minutes later the group was all set up. They stood atop the large hill, trying to banish any fear that they may have had for flying. Rarity gave her pegasus a quick nuzzle, before she tightened her hold over Fluttershy.
Rainbow turned her head to Applejack. “Ready AJ?” she asked. Applejack gave her a half-hearted nod as she looked down into the sea, lying about ten fiffeen below. “OK!” Rainbow exclaimed. “Follow my lead!” she yelled as she felt Pinkie tighten her hold over her neck.
Rainbow began to charge towards the edge, followed by the others. It drew closer and closer. This was it. Rainbow jumped over the edge, spreading her wings in the air. Pinkie could feel the wind raging past her head.
Rarity was in awe. Flying was even more amazing than she had imagined. She held her love as tightly as possible as they soared above the sea. The wind blew past her mane, causing it to dance through the air. Everything seemed to small. The world was so different through a pegasus’ eyes. There was no limit to however they could go, no boundaries, no lengths.
The calm weather did not last however. There was a storm brewing on the horizon. Rarity watched as they flew higher with each beat of Fluttershy’s wings. Her fears seemed to have blown away with the wind. She trusted Fluttershy. She knew that if she fell her love would catch her.
“You’ve got it AJ!” Rainbow laughed from the front of the group, The inexperienced earth Pony flew besdide her. Applejack however, had a slightly different opinion on the matter. She was terrified. She would never admit it, but the earth pony had a terrible fear of heights. She forced herself to keep staring forward.into the velvet sky. Dark clouds drew closer and closer.
She was doing surprisingly well considering that she had only gotten a ten minute crash course in flying from Rainbow Dash before they took off. It wasn’t all bad though. The ability to fly brought a certain liberating sensation with it. The world as she knew it had doubled in size.
“Rainbow!” Twilight yelled from Luna’s back. “Shouldn’t we fly away from the storm rather than towards it!?” she exclaimed as she saw the stormy clouds near closer.
“Don’t worry Twilight it’s just a little stray storm! We can just fly through!” she assured her friend. A decision she would soon come to regret. The gale winds become stronger and stronger as time went on. Fluttershy shivered as the chilled currents assaulted her face, her pink mane flowing in the wind.
“Uuhm Dashie?” Pinkie giggled with a tone of worry in her voice. “Could you like.. fly less wobbly?” The pegasus groaned as the group flew just below the menacing grey clouds that formed the storm. Pinkie got up on her haunches, sticking her head into the clouds, laughing loudly all the while.
“I’m trying Pinkie!” She yelled at the top of her lungs, trying to make herself audible over the sounds of the raging storm. “Maybe I did not think this through..” Suddenly, a powerful gale wind blew past the group, causing Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash to struggle through the air. An overwhelming feeling of fear came to Rarity and she clutched to her lovers body even harder as she stared down at the frigid, raging sea below.
“Come on Dash..” she whispered. “We’re almost through..” And then it happened. A massive blast of air raged against the group, causing a wave of confusion and fear to wash over them as they started to tumble through the sky.
Screams filled the air around. “Fluttershy! I’m falling! Please help me!” Rarity screamed as she desperately tried to hold on to the pegaus’ back. Tears filled Fluttershy’s eyes. She couldn’t allow herself to let Rarity fall. But she couldn’t stay afloat any longer. “I’m sorry..” she mouthed as her wings lost control, causing her to spiral down to the sea below. Rarity couldn’t hold on to the descending pegasus.
Little did they know, that their friends were experiencing the exact same thing. “Dashie!?” Pinkie screamed as she held on to the practically unconscious Pegaus, who was now spiraling down to the earth. Rainbow couldn’t muster the strength to beat her wings, let alone pull up. She could only watch in fear as the vicious ocean drew closer and closer. The world slowed down around her as she broke through the water, shooting through the sea at high speed. The sound of the raging storm disappeared the moment her ears touched the water.
She could see Pinkie floating next to her. All she could hear was the bubbling water and sound of her friend’s muffled cries. Suddenly, an overwhelming cold feeling came to her. The water was below freezing point. She had never felt as cold in her entire life. The last thing she remembered was the shivering feeling reaching her heart as her world went black...