Being the now interested character that he was, the monster craved a little more and was willing to go to some extents that, a few weeks ago, he never would have dared with. While Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash were busy trying to get the world to accept him, he wanted to know what the world was like. And it wasn't too hard to get a pretty good clue of what he was in for. There was jolly music always emanating from the city. Jolly music the likes of which he had never imagined possible. All sorts of new sounds surrounded him, and they were all happy, which bothered him.
For as happy as the monster was with his new-found friends and the land that he was ine, and even though he only wished to be happier, there was a certain depth that was lacking in this music. He decided that the lack of depth was an emotional lacking. Even though it made him happy, that's all it ever did. The monster, even though one may not guess it, had fears to overcome; he had tears to cry; he had worry that he never shook. These were not songs that soothed him and eased his pain, his worry, or his leftover sadness from the days of old.
Although exploring the world sounded nice and he really wanted it, being alone was when he thought best on his problems. Of course being with Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash helped a lot, but he never felt like telling them that he was uncontrollably worried. He had told them of the leftover sadness from his past, but they couldn't offer much more than a "But now everything is much better than before" and a hug. The hug, however, was always heartwarming and nice, but it never truly solved his problems.
The monster often sat at the foot of his cave, gazing out at the stars, and he wondered how such a land of unequaled beauty was right for him to exist in. And even though two ponies had accepted him already, they assured him that it would be hard, if not impossible, to find many others so nice. And here he would only be treated wrongly for his looks. Had he looked like a pony, yet had everything else the same about him, including his past, he would have been accepted with no questions asked.
It was these things that he was always forced to wonder about. What if I am only accepted in this town and I have to face uphill battles to be accepted anywhere else? Even if I gain most of the trust of this town, or any other town, how shall I face those who don't trust me?
Sad thoughts for a sad monster. But he was smart. There were quite possibly other things that should never be stripped from any living being, but hope and dignity were definitely the two that he thought should always remain untouched no matter what the circumstances. Certainly some people need to change, but one should never call a person worthless. One should also refrain from ever seriously calling another stupid, because how is one supposed to know, by first glimpses, the history of another? And even if history is looked at, what rule in what book says that one can not change? Hope keeps one moving, sometimes trudging, along the long paths they must traverse. Our dignity is what keeps us from tripping as we go. But the monster felt like he was lacking in both hope and dignity.
On one night, before the monster had received his food, he noticed that the town was lit up even though it was nighttime and he could still hear music, which often stopped once it was around seven in the afternoon. But it wasn't the happy music that he was accustomed to hearing. He couldn't make out the music, even with his superior hearing, and the music stopped as he got about half way to the town. Going there, he wasn't exactly hiding, but he heard no noises other than his own and saw none other than himself, so he could not tell why the music stopped, seeing as to how it could not have been that the town was alerted of his presence.
Being the curious sort, he went ahead and got close to the town, closer than he ever had been, and, as he snuck along the borders of the town, he saw a large crowd of ponies gathered in one central area. There was a large structure that could be seen beyond the crowd. The monster had no clue as to what it was, but many objects that seemed like musical instruments were on the platform of this huge structure. A few ponies went ahead and tested out a string or two on some of the instruments, which resulted in an unexpectedly loud noise. Others went ahead and tested some keys on a piano.
Feeling rather adventurous and with nothing better to do, the monster silently climbed a tree that was scarily close to the town. But the crowd seemed too focused on the stage. Wanting to know what was going on, he focused his hearing. There was something about "Thank goodness it was a free show" and "I really like this guy. I hope that he does...umm...what is it?" and then, rather loudly, a pony on the platform of the structure went up to a stick with some device attached to it and said, "For anypony out there that can hear this and has not returned back to the crowd, hurry on back. the performance continues in a minute," and his voice carried loudly over the town.
Just then, the crowd got even larger, and the streets got more littered, which the monster despised, but he knew that these ponies cared for their world, so it made no sense to him that they littered in their very own town. The forest was always clean. No bags, no food that shouldn't have been there, and not even any camping gear. With some thinking, he became aware that they littered because they wouldn't dare miss a single moment of what the monster supposed was going to be some good entertainment. The ponies would clean up the mess afterwards. Back in his days of terrorizing Ponyville, he would always find stuff littered about, and he often had himself to blame.
The monster used to kill ponies for fun, or, at least, that's what he told himself. It was never really any fun for him. He was consumed by hatred and yet never saw any point in killing the innocent creatures. He later on guessed that he only killed them because he was just angry for no good reason. He couldn't do anything to stop being a monster by killing ponies, but he did it anyway. Thankfully, he came to a conclusion that it was the stupidest, worst idea he ever had, but the damage was already done. All he was to the ponies in his day was a monster with malicious intent, and he couldn't remove that from their minds, even though he desperately wanted to. And here, in this day and age, he hadn't killed a single one, yet he knew how horrified of him that they would be.
As the monster wandered about in his mind, he suddenly heard a pony on the platform of the large structure say hi and he saw him wave to the crowd before he sat down at the piano. A loud roar of applauses came through, along with some whistling, and one "I LOVE YOU!"
The pony sitting down at the piano laughed. "Alright, alright, alright. Love you too. Thank you guys for sitting through the intermission. We'll get back to some music. It's kinda cool, I must admit, that you guys get hyped for music that's on piano and that isn't really, well, 'feel good' music, but I suppose that it does make some ponies feel good. Maybe it solves some problems here and there. Anyway, I'd like you all to welcome my steel guitar player, and a dang good one at that, Buddy! And, um, yes. We never use his last name." The pony at the piano laughed as Buddy walked on stage.
The crowd let out another long applause and Buddy sat down before an instrument that was held up and it was flat. After the applause, the host continued talking again.
"Here's for some people who would really like to forget and, yet, also remember. Here's Jade Blue." Applause came forth again, but ti quickly died down as the pony on piano started playing.
The monster decided to not stay for long, seeing as to how he would be receiving his food soon, but he really did wish to stay for more. All of the music that he had heard previously was joyful, but it never seemed realistic. Here was a song that took actual sadness and hope and put it into the form of music. Before long, the monster cried, as did some of the members of the crowd. All was silent except for the music. Nothing distracted from the music either. That lights were exactly how they should have been, no noise came from the forest, and everything was played perfectly. The piano player and Buddy both had smiles on their faces, but their eyes were closed as they immersed themselves in their own music.
After the song finished and the crowd roared again, the monster snuck out. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him, as well as many others. For as sad as he was after he listened to it, he was more hopeful than ever, and his dignity was restored. As he walked to the spot where he always met for his food, he saw one figure flying with incredible speed to the direction of Fluttershy's house. The figure quite obviously came from the crowd.
When Rainbow Dash got to the monster, tears remained in her eyes as she was wiping them when she put down the food for the monster.
"I see that you have had a past in which you had much to overcome as well," said the monster as he saw Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash replied with a somewhat quiet laugh and a smile, as well as a few sniffles. "Yeah...everypony has. Hey, look. For as nice as it is to talk...umm..." The look on Dash's face clearly pointed out that she thought that she was being rude.
"Sometimes it's better to be alone," said the monster.
Dash looked up at him and then she let her head down as if she was staring at something that was actually there, but she was actually just thinking to herself. She nodded her head.
"I will see you again tomorrow, little one. I hope that any troubles that you keep within yourself are resolved."
The monster then walked off and then Dash, after returning the double-baskets, quietly flew off to her home in the clouds, the music from the concert faintly carrying through the air to both of them. The night was bittersweet for the monster, Rainbow Dash, and all others who had heard the music, but yet everything seemed so nice, as if the music somehow cleared the world of all bad things, even if it was just for that one night.
A home in the clouds is certainly a home for one who wishes to be alone. There are no hard walls, but there is good structure. There is nopony to hear you scream at the top of your lungs, but any pony who truly appreciated nature wouldn't bother with being so loud in the first place. A cloud home also provided a few convenient things like good scenery and protection from thieves (which was often not thought of due to the astonishingly low crime rate in Ponyville) and a placid atmosphere.
But for as alone as Dash wanted to be, she could only think of others. Everypony knew the feeling of loneliness. Being the only one could, to some, be the saddest experience he or she would ever know, but to some, like Rainbow Dash, a feeling of loneliness came from being within a group of friends and being disregarded. Throughout her life, all that she wanted to do some times was talk to her friends, if but for a moment just to take away some of the bad feeling of being lonely in a crowd. Sometimes it worked, but it was not until she found the right friends that she never found this feeling of loneliness again.
She was lucky enough to always have one truly good, reliable friend in her life, though. Those who didn't may not only experience that loneliness, but the true "cast aside" feeling, where one is never invited and never acknowledged and he or she can't even manage to get into the crowd. But this is because things change, ponies included. Certain realizations are come across: if a "friend" one has had for over ten years suddenly starts ignoring him or her, perhaps he or she chose the wrong friend. If pme suddeny doesn't like something and friends can no longer relate to him or her, he or she must realize that change happens and move on with it.
As Rainbow Dash thought about this, she could not help but stare down the fact that the monster had always wanted to be in the crowd and he wanted more friends and he wanted to talk and talk. He wasn't boring and he wasn't mean and he wasn't rude, but his unfair reality was that he couldn't be friends except with a select few. She also stared down the fact that, without her help, and the help of others, the monster would remain lonely forever and he would rot inside himself from a lack of love and care.
So Rainbow Dash, yet again, took the initiative of taking time out of her day to help the monster. She went to Fluttershy's house to discuss ideas and, a pleasant surprise came to both of them when a plan was developed. It was no safe plan, for certain, but it would truly test their friends.