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Rocinante


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Jun
24th
2017

Scratching of a new story. · 12:53pm Jun 24th, 2017

I have several irons in the fire at the moment, but I wanted a little early feedback on this on. Let me know what you think.


/// Prologue ///
 
Diamond Tiara woke with a gasp. The sun was up already; her stepfather and sisters would be furious if breakfast wasn’t waiting for them. Diamond scrambled to stand, but something tangled her hooves. The world spun. She gritted her teeth, ready to land face first on the hard floor.
 
The impact came, but it was a soft one. Confusion twisted her face as she reopened her eyes. “A bed?” she asked aloud. She hadn’t sleep in a bed in years. Untangling herself from the sheets, she tried to remember how she got here. She hadn’t drank last night. She had fallen asleep by the fireplace, like she always did.
 
“Chedder?” she called. Maybe her little mouse friend knew what happened. “Mr Bramble?” He was probably already out doing his chores in the field. She loved the old stallion like a grandfather, but she was still jealous that he didn’t have to deal with Them. Not like she did anyway.
 
Diamond shook her head. She didn’t have time to worry about how she’d got here. She had to get breakfast on the table and her morning chores done before anypony realized she’d slept in, or a scolding would be the least of her punishment. With a lurch, Diamond untangled her hooves and jumped to the floor. She started towards the door, but froze. This room, she’d been here before: long ago. She looked around in the dim, morning light, her eyes finally remembering how to focus. This was her old bedroom. Her bedroom form, Before. She hadn’t seen it in three, almost four years. How was she back here? Why did it look the same?
 
She took a shaky step towards her old vanity. Her favorite brush was still there—Stepfather had burned that not long after the move to Canterlot. Diamond’s heart pounded in her chest. She moved the brush to open the jewelry box beneath it. Part of her couldn’t stand that thought of opening that box, knowing it would be empty. It’s precious contents smashed and thrown away by her stepsisters. Still... She had to look.
 
Dawn light streamed into the box as she lifted the lid. The shimmering tiara inside stopped her heart. She touched it with a hoof, not trusting her eyes.
 
“How...”
 
She was dreaming, she had to be, but a sharp pinch failed to wake her. Could it be? Her throat clenched as she opened the door. The great room looked just as she remembered it.
 
Hope sparked in her heart. It was a thing she’d thought long dead within her. Slow, shaky, steps lead her down the hall, past her mother’s room only stopping when she had reached her father’s bedroom door. It may have well been the gate to Tartarus for all the dread it brought. The memory of the morning he didn’t wake was still vivid.
 
Raising a hoof, she eased the door open..
 
/ / /
 
The wounded sound of his daughter’s voice ripped Filthy Rich from his sleep. “Daddy?” the fraggle voice whispered. His eyes sprang open to reveal Diamond running to his bedside, looking up at him with tear-soaked eyes.
 
“Something wrong?” he asked, starting to sit up.
 
Diamond lept at him like a thing possessed. Her four hooves wrapped around him, her whole body desperate to hold him tighter. She tried to speak, but heaving sobs turned every word to gibberish.
 
“Honey,” Rich petted his daughter’s mane, unsure what else to do, “I can’t understand you. What’s wrong.”
 
“I had a horrible dream,” Diamond managed to blubber out after a while.
 
Rich smiled. As much as he hated seeing his daughter upset, it had been a long time since she’d come to him after a bad dream. “Shh... he cooed, rocking Diamond in his lap like he had done when she was much smaller. “You’re awake now. I’m here. You’re safe.”
 
 
/// Ch 1 ///
 
 
An old gardener turned in place, looking at the dream dissolving around him. “I’m going to kinda miss this place,” he said in Applebloom’s voice.
 
An angry looking stallion nodded in agreement “Me to,” he said in Scootaloo’s voice.
 
A mouse on the floor rippled with magic, its form dissolving and expanding till Sweetie Belle stood where it had been. “Yeah, you two didn’t have to be a mouse. I’m ready to go.”
 
“But first,” Luna’s voice said from behind them. “We would like an explanation.”
 
The three spun to face Luna, Applebloom and Scootaloo’s disguises dissolving as they turned.
 
“I’m not sure what to be most surprised at,” Luna said before any of the three could muster a response. A pulse of her magic stabilized what was left of the dream. “For moons now, I have been chasing some presence in The Dreaming. Some force that visited foals dreams. Foals that frequently would get their mark that very night.
 
“That was interesting enough, but now I find that you three have learned to walk The Dreaming, and with a admirable skill. Making a dream feel like a day is tricky, making it feel like half a decade is an art. How did you learn to walk The Dreaming, let alone shape it?”
 
“We Um...” Applebloom looked to her friends. “Kinda picked it up from you.”
 
Sweetie nodded. “After the third time we were in a dream with you, we started figuring it out.”
 
First time was an accident, though” Scootaloo said. “We realized we weren't dreaming about each other, but with each other.”
 
“After that,” Applebloom said. “It was just trial and error to get out of our dreams, and go to other pony’s.”
 
Luna nodded, then walked over to the fireplace where the filly had thought she slept. “That is a start. I would wager your shared cutie mark allows you a somewhat shared magic. That and a little exposure to my craft would make sharing dreams easy. Though, I’m still impressed you figured out how to enter other’s dreams.” Sticking a hoof in the cold ashes, she stirred them until a crackling fire appeared.
 
“That settled.” Luna turned to face the three then sat on the tattered rug. “I would like to know why to wove such a nightmare,” She said, her face painted with disappointment.” You crafted a torture exquisite. She will never forget this and it will alter her deeply. I thought you three had made amends with that filly?”
 
Applebloom bristled and took a breath to speak, but Sweetie Belle interrupted her. “That was hardly torture,” Sweetie objected. “A few bad memories and some house work. Bloom and I even helped.”
 
“And I didn’t enjoyed being mean to her,” Scootaloo added.
 
Her friends having said their words, Applebloom met Luna’s eyes. “If losing a parent and having to do chores is torture, I’d like to know where I can get my apology,” she said stepping forward. “Diamond at least gets to wake up and see her dad. Maybe she’ll even be a little nicer to him from now on. And in the future, she’ll remember what it feels like on the bottom. When her mark leads her somewhere that puts her in charge of ponies, she’ll remember the old gardener that helped her and the little mouse that kept her company. She’ll know what it feels like to work without thanks or comfort.”
 
Luna scowled at Applebloom. “And the resentment towards her mother?”
 
Applebloom didn’t blink. “That tree never bared fruit anyway. I mean... Come on. Her mark is for being a gold-digger.”
 
Luna held her scowl for a moment, but a snort shattered it into a smile. “Very well,” She said through a laugh. “I would have stopped you earlier in the dream, if I had though you truly malicious. Still..” Luna looked around the dream for a moment, then with a wave of her magic dispelled it. “This,” Luna gestured with a hoof to the inky world that now surrounded them, “is The Dreaming; the place between dreams. It is my domain and my responsibility. There are grave dangers here you’ve been lucky to avoid. It would be irresponsible of me to allow you to wander this realm” Luna returned her attention the the three young mares, who looked back at her with a mixture of worry and ire.
 
“You will either become my apprentices, or swear to never come here again.”
 
“I- What?’ Scootaloo asked.
 
 

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Comments ( 7 )

sounds interesting

I'm in, this has lots of possibilities .

neat idea

An interesting premise!

Right in the trash methinks

Interesting, interesting...

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