The train comes to a stop, steam hissing.
Limbs shifting, I step up and shuffle out onto the station's platform.
My luggage and turntable rattle behind me.
My mane billows in a warm wind. I squint, smiling as I soak in the golden voices, the amber mirth, and the gentle hum beyond.
Blessed Celestia... I almost forgot...
...almost forgot how green this place was.
A magenta sigh, and I shuffle onward. My eyes travel the skyline. I spot the windmill and its gentle spin against the blue sky. A babbling brook runs under stone bridges beside tents and boutiques. The round edges of Town Hall loom tall and rustic. In the distance, a clock tower carries its slender shadow over the western gardens and cottages.
I hear many voices. I recognize them by their sheer tone. Cheerilee's pink breaths giggle past Big Macintosh's blue drawl. Roseluck, Lily, and Daisy fill the marketplace with a chorus of browns and yellows. In the distance, I even detect the breathy grays of Zecora.
Something scrapes my vision. I look north. There the crystal palace of Friendship looms, blacker than black. It sends a jolt through my heart, and yet... it's a strangely soothing thing. It's almost with regret that I bend my way south and trot through the apartment complexes.
Light floral scents tickle my nose. Each breath makes me want to smile harder and harder. It's a far throw from the urban squalor I've trudged through these past few months. Capricorn's home was a pleasant place, but it holds no candle to the delightful mirth and antiquity of Ponyville.
Nothing can compare. I should make an album perfectly dedicated to Ponyville and Ponyville alone.
Luna alive... I feel like I can make a million albums.
I'll be dead someday. Plenty of time to create between then and now.
How could I have ever thought differently?
And then I stumble upon it.
A quaint entrance like any other. I'm almost surprised to see that the grass hasn't overgrown. Somepony was obviously nice enough to care for the lawn in our absence. I'll be sure to thank them... once I figure out who it is.
I rummage through my saddlebag, ultimately levitating a key. With a calm breath, I approach the door, unlock it, and open the door to my domain.
With a dull creak, the apartment yawns wide, greeting me with grays and turquoise. With a single breath, I fill it with magenta. The colors unfold across the dusty lengths of the place. It's alive. It's always been alive.
I feel sorry for having been gone for so long. But I wonder who I should apologize to.
And just like that...
"Whoah... no way..." A black voice. Fwooosh! I feel the wind rippling behind me. Somepony's touched down on the front lawn. "Vinyl Scratch? Is it really you?"
My heart flutters.
I turn around with a smile. My shades reflect her fuzzy, blue face.
Rainbow Dash blinks, gaping. "Holy cow. It totally is!" Her tail flicks. Like an excited, loyal puppy, she lifts back up. "Just... j-just hold it right there, girl! I... uh... I-I'll go fetch Twilight! Like... you have no idea how badly she's been dying to speak to y—"
I hold a hoof up, shaking my head.
"Huh?" Her ruby eyes twitch. "No?"
I smile, then point my hoof vaguely eastward. I mimic the action of nuzzling another pony.
"... ... ..." Rainbow's gaze darts left, then right. Her face lights up. "Lyra and Bon Bon!" She grins wide. "You want me to grab them?"
I smile back, nodding.
"Sure thing! First thing's first! Just wait right there!" She lifts off. "Omigoshomigoshomigosh!" And in a black blur, she's gone.
I sigh warmly.
It's nice to know that you're missed.
Now... to start setting things up...
I light candles about the place, put my things away...