About a day’s trot from Ponyville through dense woodlands and hills, there is a place in Equestria unlike any other. Said to have been blessed by the Princess of the Sun, the water that poured from enchanted clouds shimmered with every hue as it flowed, pooling into the deep basins that waited below. Too beautiful to be adequately described, and yet humble as even the most downtrodden of ponies, the Rainbow Falls freely shared their splendor with both great and small, old and young, rich or poor: anypony was welcome. Near one of the low lying cloud basins that kissed the earth and brought it’s bounty down for all to share, there was a cabin, and it was in that humble abode, little more than a shack with utilities, that the first rays of Celestia’s morn soothed a slumbering form into wakefulness.
Through the filter of rickety wooden shades, pale shafts of golden light melted into a stallion’s flowing mane, colored like the very sun that slowly offered its luminescence to dispel the dark. Slowly easing himself upright, mellow tangerine eyes blinked a few times to brush away what remained of Luna’s lurid liquor: a fitful sleep to renew the mind and body. Melodious birdsong formed the symphony of wakening, bringing a faint grin to the earth pony’s muzzle as he brushed away a few wadded up papers from the bed and eased himself onto the floor. He glanced at his desk nearby where several pages lay waiting to be finished, scrapped, or laid aside, and softly shook his head, leaving his vision obscured by the colors of the sun.
Not even a paragraph, huh? Shuffling the papers around, he found the title page he’d drafted the evening prior and cringed. Hay, I must have been really tired... “The Cabin By the Falls: by Cerulean Sunrise,” he read aloud, shaking his head at his own lack of creativity. Operating under his pen name, Morning Melody had found a nice little niche writing romance novels that were, oddly, mostly enjoyed by stallions, but his passion also moved him to script lyrics. Whether it was a heart-moving moment come to fruition after eighty thousand words, or a few powerful verses, invoking emotion within the hearts of others was the stallion’s true passion. However, that morning was to be one of celebration for the completion of his most recent work. He held onto his rueful grin for just a moment before clearing his vision and cantering away, easing open the door and stepping out to greet the morning.
A delighted moan escaped unrestrained from his lips as the sunlight kissed his cerulean coat, surrounding him in warmth to counter the brisk morning breeze that rustled the grass. Lifting his eyes, Melody let his gaze sweep out over the place that had become his sanctuary. Pines, fir, and cypress grew in abundance just a stones throw down the hill, with a mountain spring running just a few minutes walk down the winding path that led to the crest of the hill. A good days trot from the nearest town, a little place called Ponyville, the solitary stallion took a deep draft of the country air and sighed, his eyes invariably drawn to the phenomenon that never ceased to leave him mystified.
While many of the falls floated in the sky, there was one that deigned to grace the fallow ground. Its magical waters tumbled into a basin nestled by a cove around the bend of a rocky spire, and it was one of the most popular spots for the scant few visitors that made the trip. That morning, however, he could hear the beckoning call of the rumbling cascade that drew him close, and him alone. Entranced as he always was, Melody felt the flow of lyrics and verse course through his mind like the steady flow through his veins as he neared and gingerly lowered himself into the currentless waters. Floating on his back with his hooves pulled to his chest, the resident of the falls fell into a trance, listening as the crashing of the falls playing their melody for the rainbows that danced and twirled in the glistening mists.
His flowing two-tone mane that had oft left him mistaken for a mare took on hues of magenta and verdant greens as the magic-imbued waters carried it along. Gentle waves teased his tail that drifted behind him, shifting into hues of vermillion and azure. Rays of the morn crept further over the trees, lighting the falls and bathing the whole area in shifting lights, and even after the stallion closed his eyes, they lingered still upon his vision. Just below the surface, if one had looked, they would have seen a golden eighth note surrounded by seven spires to resemble a sun gracing the stallion’s flank, and this mark was neither ornamental nor misleading. That morning, his inspiration was one of freedom, and the stallion couldn’t help but sing as he leapt from the pool in an explosion of prismatic droplets, lifting his voice to accompany nature’s choir.
“Blue bird, blue bird, take it away,
every worry, every care from yesterday!
The sun is shinin' through the trees
bathing the hills in a golden sea~
Robin, robin, carry the tune
of the buzzing bees and flowers in bloom
even if the lark should fail to sing
sparrows will chirp of the joy you bring~!
Lyre bird, lyre bird, hummin' along
adding harmony to elation's song!
Come one, come all, join this Melody
a gift of joy I'll give for free!
In the rise of the morning mists I see
a brand new day laid in front of me
an endless, reaching opportunity
a chance to see what I can be~!”
Responding to his call, the birds of the forest swooped down to lend their ears and voices to their sole pony friend, lighting on his back and working to fix his mane. Greeting them with jovial words and beaming features, the stallion continued to hum as he cantered towards the rivulet for a drink. Savoring the crisp, cool taste of the mountain spring, he let out a sigh and tapped his hoof in time with the rhythm still flowing through his mind. Encouraged by a rather spectacular solo from an enthusiastic starling, Melody joined his host in celebration of the dawn.
“Cuckoo, cuckoo, what's the time?
Looks like half passed quarter to shine!
Would you join me by the trickling stream?
A little company would make me beam!
Monarch, monarch, leave your throne
life's no fun if it's spent alone!
Come and greet this humble servant yours
and your subjects gathered on these shores
Swallow, swallow, grace these skies:
corkscrews, spirals, dips and dives!
Like the Wonderbolts in deed and game
put my bitterness and grief to shame!
Life's too short to spend one's days
dwelling on a past that's a blinding haze
covering my eyes from the stellar rays
so I ask you, morning, hear me say~
just take it all away~!”
Such was Melody when under the influence of a proper night’s rest. “Thank you, everybirdy! You were all fantastic, as usual!” he quipped, lifting a hoof and immediately being bowled over by a host of feathered friends. Laughing and coating an unfortunate sparrow with a sneeze as a wing was unwittingly shoved up his snout, Melody continued chatting with the forest folk until they had finished straightening his mane. Bidding them farewell and eager to start his next publication, Melody snagged another sip from the stream, skipped the luxury of breakfast, found himself wrestling with a familiar foe the moment he took a seat at his desk.
“Oh, come on, brain,” he said aloud, throwing his hooves wide. “You feel that itch? Huh? Do ya? That’s called ‘wanting to write.’ It’s also called ‘earning enough bits to make it through the winter and not starve. Starving is no fun, remember? We tried that last winter.’” A few moments of silence ticked past, wherein neither his pen nor pad bothered to dignify him with a response, and with a sullen sigh, Melody let his head fall to the desk with a dull thud. “...stupid writer’s block.”
Alas, inspiration for the poor stallion was much like a geyser, and the spouts had started to dwindle over the past few months. When he’d first moved to the falls, story upon story had flowed from mind to page, but as of late, it seemed that the tap of creativity had run dry with only minor exception, like the song he had just sung. It wasn’t that the falls had lost any of their grandeur, no, they were every bit as beautiful as the day that he’d first set down his pack and gaped in wonder, unable to believe his eyes. However, the faint twinge in his chest after a moment of introspection caused a snort of exasperation, and he folded his hooves across his chest in protest against himself.
“No.” A few seconds of silence passed. “I said no,” he growled again, turning his head away. “I don’t wanna go to Ponyville. I don’t need anything else.” Determined to prove to his rebellious emotions the truth of his words, the stallion adopted a smug grin as he marched over to his small fridge, whipped open the door, and felt the corners of his smile melt. Aside from a pitcher of stream water, a fourth of a head of cabbage, and two ripe tomatoes, the shelves were empty. “Well, no matter... that’s what I have a garden for.” Turning away from his dismal larder, Melody walked outside and rounded the corner to find that he may have pressed himself a touch too hard on his last story.
“...make that had a garden. Dang it...” the writer groaned, hanging his head in defeat. A month of neglect does not a healthy garden make, and as he walked through the cultivated rows of various vegetables, he found that very few were still edible, and even fewer revivable. Discounting the carrots and the potatoes, everything save an uncharacteristically hearty tomato vine and a few stalks of corn had wilted. Slightly aghast that he hadn’t caught wind of the pungent odor seeping from the rotting cabbages sooner, Melody was forced to concede that, like or not, he would have to pay the town below a visit.
“Fine, you win,” he muttered to himself as he contemplated clearing away the withered plants right away or waiting until he actually had something to replace them with. “I’ll go to Ponyville, but let’s get something straight! There are going to be rules. First, no looking at mares. You might think this silly, but I assure you, it is within both of our best interests.” He paused a moment, staying his hoof while his heart communicated to him a few choice words that his tongue rarely spoke. “...ok, maybe just a peek. But only looking, do you hear me? Mares are a pain. They’re a lot of work, and... and they break your heart, and... you want to be broken?” he exclaimed, glaring at his chest. “Well, tough! I’d rather not go through that again, thank you, so you’re just going to have to be satisfied with sneaky glances and other such socially questionable looking.”
This seemed acceptable to his loneliness, and with the matter decided, he gratefully greeted the fresh breeze not reeking of fetid compost as he left the garden and cantered back to his house to gather his things. Living a simple life, there wasn’t a whole lot to gather: a saddlebag, a sack of bits to pay for some food and seeds, and a canteen for the trip. Muttering to himself as he packed, Melody turned towards the cupboards above the small dual-burner stove and found them barren as well. Sheesh, I really haven’t been down to town for a while... After another few moments spent in contemplation of his solitary lifestyle and the utter lack of social stimulation that came with it, Melody decided to embrace this opportunity as a time to work on his phobia of the general public and, hopefully, return home without alienating himself from the townsfolk further.
“I wish I had some tea,” the stallion murmured to himself as he closed the cupboard doors and saddled up. “Water is like... like potatoes! No, no, that’s not right; potatoes crunch. Water doesn’t crunch... wait, ice is crunchy, so I guess they really are like potatoes! Completely bland and unexciting unless they are cooked and prepared with something else! Well, you don’t really cook water, do you... except for when you make tea! That decides it: I’m brilliant, and I’m getting tea!” Pausing as his proclamation from the doorway echoed down the forest trail, the stallion sat with his hoof raised for a moment before his ears went flaccid and reached for the ground.
“I really... won’t make any friends, talking to myself like that...” he murmured with a sigh, closing the door behind him. “I mean, who’s gonna want to hang around a stallion talking to himself about potatoes? I might as well up the ante and talk about yams. I mean, who talks about yams? ‘Oh, they’re so orange and mushy when you-’ No! Nopony talks about yams, that’s who! Except... for... me. Right now. I am talking about yams. Dang it!” Shushing himself and adjusting the bag strapped around his back, the stallion continued for another few steps in silence.
“...they do taste good with cinnamon, though. Oh, and sweet cream! They-” he stopped, clapping a hoof to his forehead and letting out a growl. “Why the hay am I still talking about yams?” As if in answer, a cavernous groan from his belly reminded him that he hadn’t eaten in quite some time, perhaps more than a day, and he cringed as another few steps led to another growl. My stomach is gonna eat me alive before I make it to town. Even if I ran most of the way, I wouldn’t make it down until at least sunset... There has to be some way to get there faster! The corner’s of his mouth slowly curled into a mischievous grin as he turned towards the garden shed.
“...that’s it!” Bolting over in a rush of excitement, the stallion galloped around to the back side of a small tool shack where a small four wheeled cart sat tethered to a post. “Why the hay did I even buy this thing?” Melody wondered aloud as he examined the cart of questionable structural integrity. Hmmm, moss growing out the timbers, wheels are coated in... something, certainly not grease. Smells funky, too. Leaping into the bed without a second thought, Melody frowned as the whole thing groaned and bowed slightly at his weight.
“Well, aren’t you a pathetic cart!” he declared, feigning offence. “Trying to make an emaciated stallion feel tubby? You... you beast!” Sniffing back fake tears, he tested the suspension by rocking side to side. It’ll turn... probably? He rocked again, and grinned. This... is a terrible idea. If nothing else, the stallion was entirely aware of the sheer madness that was his plan, but this neither stayed his hoof from untying the rickety contraption nor restrained his laughter as he pulled the cart over to the path running down from the house. Standing poised at the precipice of the ludicrous, Melody dropped the reins, leapt into the bed of the cart, planted his hooves on the sides, and narrowed his gaze into a challenging leer. “Alright, cart... let’s get some yams.”
Melody threw his weight forward and tensed as the cart began to roll. A tentative shift of his weight and the makeshift wagon drifted with him in a surprisingly responsive manner, and while the incline wasn’t particularly steep, momentum continued to build. Letting out a whoop as the wind caught his mane and whipped it about like linens hung to dry during a spring storm, the stallion banked to the right to keep on the path as he rounded the first bend. Already racing much faster than anypony could gallop for longer than a few minutes, Melody closed his eyes ever so briefly as the tantalizing thought of a decent meal teased his senses.
“Mmmm... oh hayseed!” he yelped, lunging to the right as a boulder jutting out of the path raced towards him. Racing, however, was not the stallion’s talent, and his overcompensation nearly toppled the cart. Banking for a few terrifying seconds on two wheels, the cart slammed back down to earth on a collision course with a solid rock face. Not particularly taken with the notion of creating a mural with his muzzle, Melody jerked to the left, losing the path completely and careening down the steep and untamed hillside. One might expect a pony hurtling towards their certain and assuredly painful demise to at least scream a little, but no, the stallion looked rather bored as nettles and briers loomed in the distance. Heaving a little sigh, Melody hung his head and donned a rueful grin.
“...looks like I'm a masochist.” The briers agreed. A lot. Plowing through the brush and collecting quite a thorny following, Melody cleared his vision and planted his hooves on the sides, determined to make the most of his last few moments with all his limbs attached. “Brier! Tree! Tree! ‘Nother tree! Nettles! Bench! Wait, what the what?” the stallion murmured, glancing behind him at the random piece of furniture that was quickly lost among the trees. “Who the hay leaves a perfectly good b-” There was a massive crunch as the cart plowed headlong into a rather solid oak, followed by a glorious feeling of weightlessness, and just moments later, the stallion found himself soaring over the treetops with all the grace of an audacious dodo.
A/N: Just a chapter of a story that will likely never be completed. It was supposed to be a story about my OC, but I decided writing a romance for myself when there is nopony in my life would just come out feeling empty, so I discontinued it. It was fun to write, though! If anypony would like to see this continued, let me know. I could at least get Melody to Ponyville, maybe...