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Delayed Father’s Day Post - Progress on Child of Nightmares and Everfree · 2:16am Jun 21st, 2016

I’m currently making slow but constant progress on the next chapters in Child of Nightmares and Everfree, and in honor of Father’s Day (slightly delayed), I’ll let you get a sneak peek below the fold. I’m going to do my BEST to get the whole thing done before next Nightmare Night, or the bats will eat me.

(Description Reminder) When a frantic Night Guard seeks help in finding his lost daughter in the middle of the Everfree Forest, he finds only Fluttershy willing to guide him on his dangerous quest. But as they search, they find far more than they expected, and in the end, he may be forced to accept the painful reality that the daughter he seeks may not want to return with him.

The only thing in the Everfree Forest more frightening than a father trying to find his lost daughter, is a mother who does not want to let go.

Child of Nightmares and Everfree

Ponyville looked much different in the noontime sun from ground level than it did in the moonlight from a cloud. Sergeant Sunshine Symphony of the Royal Guard (Night Division and Temporary Courier) stumbled off the train with a lumpy bag full of armor and a smaller bag containing a few personal possessions over his back. The hasty pair of sunglasses he picked up from his clan home helped cut the glare down from head-splitting to only severely annoying, but he still moved from one tree’s shadow to the next as he made his way to the Ponyville Town Hall.

This year the mayor will listen. Princess Luna’s word must be worth something.

He nodded as he passed through the mayor’s outer office, the secretary taking one glance at the broad-shouldered Nocturne and finding something far more interesting in the bottom of a file cabinet than to get involved in rather than the upcoming argument that he had heard several times before. By Sunshine’s count, he had met with the mayor four times now, counting today, and had only lost his temper once.

He was determined not to make that mistake a second time.

“Good morning, Madam Mayor.” Sunshine had the folder with Princess Luna’s symbol on it in his right hoof before the mayor could open her mouth. He dropped it on the paper-covered desk and promptly plunked his rump onto the visitor’s cushion, setting his jaw and remaining determined not to say anything until she had read the letter.

“Good afternoon, Sergent Sunshine.” The mayor nudged the closed folder and favored him with a very unfavorable look. “I must say our conversation is starting off better than usual. To answer your questions before you ask, there have been no reports of any unicorn matching the description of your deceased wife, nor any reports of any of your variety of pegasi, young or old, within the Ponyville valley area, including the Whitetail Woods and the Canter mountain valley.”

“I saw her last night,” said Sunshine, almost under his breath. “I screwed up. I lost it. I went screaming after her like some madpony.”

“So that was you?” The mayor seemed to be interested, as opposed to the normal impassive shield she projected. “I heard somepony go screaming off into the woods last night, and the candy was spread all over the place again this year. I thought it was Rainbow Dash trying to pull another prank.”

Sunshine remained quiet and sitting on his cushion until the mayor opened up the folder and began to read. There were a few “Hmmm’s” and an “Interesting” or two scattered around the page flips, but he concentrated on his breathing while she was reading, even when the secretary poked his head into the office to check why it was so quiet.

Eventually, Mayor Mare closed the folder and just watched him while tapping her forehooves together. “Until a few weeks ago, I might have thought you were crazy to say somepony is living in the Everfree Forest right outside of town without us realizing it. Then we found a zebra of all ponies who had apparently been living there for some time, and only has been recently befriended by our resident celebrities.”

“So you’ll help?” he asked, trying not to breathe heavily in anticipation.

“As much as we can,” said the mayor. “I’ll send Pokey over to Fluttershy’s with a message so she and her animals can check the edge of the Everfree Forest.”

“What about the sheriff?” asked Sunshine. “Can he put together a search party?”

“The sheriff moved to Appleoosa.” Mayor Mare looked out the window as if she were also considering a change of venue. “Right now, all we have a prisoner on work release, and Jailbird’s parole won’t let him leave the city limits of Ponyville.”

“Oh-kay.” Sunshine Symphony took a deep breath. “Who does that leave us with to search?”


“Attention everypony,” announced Twilight Sparkle to the growing crowd of ponies. “We have a lost little pony out in the Everfree Woods. From Sergeant Sunshine’s description, she started at the statue of Nightmare Moon last night and flew towards the forest in an erratic pattern. She’s probably lost and frightened, so try not to scare her away if you spot her.”

“Do you have a description?” called out one pony from the crowd.

“She’s one of Princess Luna’s nocturnal pegasi,” said Twilight, reading down her sheet. “She has a bat-wing for a cutie mark, green eyes, and—” She paused and waved a hoof rather generally at Sunshine. “—looks like him.”

The general enthusiasm of the crowd lessened slightly.

“Is she the Ghost Foal of Nightmare Moon?” said one little filly out in the crowd.

Twilight Sparkle frowned. “No, I’m fairly certain Princess Luna does not have any foals, natural or supernatural. Anyway, I’ve put together a search pattern for our teams that should cover the entire near side of the forest and— Sergeant Sunshine? Where did he go?”

In the middle of the crowd, a young light-purple unicorn filly abruptly found herself the focus of the large batwinged guard as Sunshine forced himself to stop a length away and ask, “Did you see her? Did you see my daughter?”

Although several of the little ponies around the filly took a step or two away from him, the little filly just nodded slightly at his question. “I think so, Mister Sunshine. It was last year when we were all down at the statue of Nightmare Moon, when I saw this little filly hiding in a bush. She had the biggest green eyes, but she was really skinny and didn’t have a candy bag.”

Sunshine Symphony’s heart leapt with joy. He wanted to scoop this little filly up and give her the biggest of hugs, but with great effort, he managed to stay almost perfectly still as he asked, “Can you show me where this was?”

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Comments ( 1 )

Thanks for the update, though I don't generally read previews like that.

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