A Nightmare to Remember...

by Gyrofest96

Things Get Serious...

Pinkie bounced out of the front door with Twilight in close pursuit. Pinkie literally slid a few feet before coming to an abrupt halt. Twilight peered around Pinkie to see why she had stopped, and what she saw froze her in place as well. There, a decent distance away from their protective shield, lay Applejack. She appeared to be unconscious with several cuts and bruises implanted into her body.

Pinkie immediately unfroze herself, and dashed out of the protected area to aid Applejack. Twilight was a bit more cautious on her way out, however. Where had the shadow gone? Had it been satisfied with taking down one pony? Or was it waiting for us...

"PINKIE! WAIT!" This sudden outburst caused Pinkie to look up in time to see the shadow leap out of a bush towards her. She hopped out of the way frantically, dodging the majority of the claws, but rewarding her with a long, but not deep, gash on her side. Pinkie yelped out in pain as she began to rub her side. Twilight had to react quickly to prevent any further harm that could befall her friends or herself.

"Pinkie! Grab Applejack and bring her inside my house, I'll hold this thing!" Twilight commanded.

Pinkie only responded with a nod, and began to shove Applejack towards the protected grounds. Twilight's horn began to glow and sparkle, which in turn surrounded some wooden planks lying against a makeshift shop. The creature leapt into the air, claws ready to pierce and tear. She brought down one of the wooden planks upon the creature's back, only to have it phase right through!

Twilight shrieked as the unhindered creature reached Twilight, implanting its claws into her side. She screamed in pain as she felt the claws dig deeper. She tried to clear her scrambled thoughts, and mustered up enough strength to send another plank flying at the creature, cutting through the front hooves. The claws dissipated for a moment, causing it to tumble to the ground. As it had already begun to regenerate its front hooves, she didn't have much time to act. She heaved herself up, grunting audibly from the wounds she had just received and used her magic to bring random objects to block the path of the assailant as she limped towards the protected grounds.

"It's working... it's slowing down..." she thought as she turned back to see no sight of the dark creature. She tried to hasten her pace to the best of her ability, but she could feel the blood trickling out of the orifices that were inflicted by the creature's claws.

She then heard an ear-piercing howl come from behind her. She flopped her ears down and turned to see many more coming to the lone creature's aid. She didn't hesitate any longer, and before she knew it, she was within the protective borders again. By this time, Pinkie had just laid Applejack onto the couch and had come back outside to aid Twilight. Pinkie nearly fainted at the site of Twilight. It wasn't as bad as it looked, but she was still bleeding somewhat badly, and needed to take care of the wounds.

Pinkie recovered from her initial shock and ran to support Twilight towards the tree house. By this time, Spike had awoken from all of the commotion and was tending to Applejack. When he saw Twilight, his pupils shrank inwards, and he made a mad dash for the bathroom upstairs to get some gauze and medical supplies. Pinkie already had tears in her eyes from seeing her friends in their current shape. Both Applejack and Twilight were injured quite badly, but they would live.

Spike had returned with the medical supplies and gauze, and was already sitting Twilight down. He applied the disinfectant to the wounds first, then gingerly wrapped the gauze around each hole. There were three in total, one on her right side, and two on her left.

"There ya go Twilight... how are you feeling?" Spike asked, concerned for his best friend.

"I have been better, Spike... But I think I'll manage." Twilight said, rising to her hooves slowly. "We need to warn the others... those things are still out there, and it's nearing the morning." By the time she was fully standing, she was panting quite heavily. Applejack was beginning to awake at this point, letting out a sharp cough to indicate it.

"What... What in tarnation' happened?" She groaned. Spike returned to Applejack's aid after hearing her voice. "Ugh... Spike? What am Ah doin' here- TWILIGHT?!" She screamed as she saw the state that Twilight's body was in. Multiple bandages covered her sides, all showing a lot of blood beginning to seep through them.

"Twi', are you okay?" She asked while getting up from the couch.

"I'm fine... Just a bit hurt, is all. I'll be okay. How are you doing, AJ?" Twilight asked with a forced smile.

"Ah'm fine, bit bruised, but I'll hold up. But, sugarcube... You look like yer in real bad shape!" Applejack said concerned.

"As I said, I'm okay," she replied waving it off. "We need to check on the others though... They could be in serious danger!"

Spike nodded and went to check on the situation outside from the window. He turned around with simple confusion on his face and said, "T-they're gone! I don't see anything!"

"What? That's impossible, there were at least twenty out there just moments ago!" Twilight said as she went to look out the window to confirm Spike's statement. She gasped in fear and confusion as she saw nothing out of the ordinary outside besides the toppled over debris outside her protective barrier.

"What is going on? They're all gone!" Twilight thought aloud while frantically searching for any sign of the creatures.

"M-maybe they left?" Spike fearfully suggested. Twilight shook her head, "No, Spike. They had the intent of doing more than just harming, I doubt they would leave after gathering twenty of those things..."

Just then, they began to hear banging from all around the tree house. "W-what's going on?"

"It's those creatures, they're trying to break through my shield!" Twilight replied, her face teeming with worry and fear.

"Can they do that...?" Spike asked, gulping after the question. She shook her head, "I don't think so... but it's possible. Stay away from the windows and the top floor."

Applejack suddenly remembered what she had come here for in the first place and asked, "Hey, Twi', do ya have any spells that could stop Granny Smith from bein' hypnotized?" Twilight stopped for a moment to think.

"Oh, yes I do! It's right over here, in the 'M' section!" She said grabbing a book with her magic. She levitated it in front of her face, and recited, "The Basics of Mind-Controlling." She flipped through it and said, "Yes! This will be perfect!"

"So did ya find it?" Applejack asked curiously. Twilight nodded and replied, "Yup! Doesn't look too difficult, so it shouldn't take longer than a few minutes when the spell begins!"

"Good! But, how do we get there? We're in no shape er form to move 'round too much. Plus, we have plenty o' ragin' creatures bangin' on our shield!" Applejack explaining, wincing every time another blow impacted.

"Oh shoot! I forgot about that!" Twilight sighed while doing a mental facepalm. She closed her eyes and began to focus magic into her horn. It glowed significantly and shot a beam directly above her, passing through her top floor and roof to the shield, aiming to fortify it. The spell lasted a good five minutes, ending with an extremely exhausted Twilight nearly falling. Something had caught her, and before her vision went completely dark, she smelled something similar to cotton candy...

Twilight opened her eyes to see a certain grounded pegasus grinning quite evilly at her. "Welcome back to my domain, Ms. Sparkle, enjoying the party?"