• Published 28th May 2013
  • 1,642 Views, 60 Comments

Dream - Cascadejackal

Sometimes, our dreams are all we have. Sometimes, that's enough.

  • ...



Life. Death. Beauty. Dream.

Within a small house, within a forest, a life was born from a dream.

One step, then another, bronze hooves moved. Gears whirred and ticked, a delicate mechanism giving life and motion, powered by a heart of quartz. Copper feathers slid and spread upon great wings, gleaming in the soft light of flickering candles.

Finally, eyes of flawless sapphire opened, looking upon the world, a dream made whole and real.

This dream's gaze saw only one thing. The face of Father, weeping. Though, he did not weep tears of sorrow, but tears of joy.

For he had found his dream.

The dream was innocent, without guile or fear or sorrow. As delicate and trusting as a newborn foal, knowing only Father, and the things he taught.

He taught his dream of beauty, of Mother, who slept eternal, and of the wonders of the world. He taught of the seasons, the mountains, the flowers and the birds. Paintings and songs and his marvelous machines, these were her playmates, her companions, her world within the house within the forest.

She learned of beauty. Beneath the sun, beneath the moon, their light touching her gleaming body was deemed beautiful by Father. The dances learned from Father's music boxes, with spinning ponies so small yet wondrous, revealed beauty in movement. Tales of the far-off lands, of Canterlot, of the highest mountains with snow-kissed peaks, of great bodies of water called oceans that sparkled in the sun, told her there was beauty everywhere.

The greatest beauty, though, came with tears. Words of Mother brought tears, silver drops that fell from Father's eyes. Words of love, and life, and loss. Of joy and sorrow, of peace and pain.

The dream knew of these things, the things Father taught.

Sometimes, while the sun crossed the azure sky, behind the clouds of purest white or stormy grey, Father would go away. Always, he would return to his dream before the moon's silver eye could gaze upon the land.

At these times, he spoke of the town, of where Mother lay sleeping. He would speak, and he would weep, and he would laugh, until he, too, slept.

Through the night, the dream would wait. She did not sleep, nor breathe nor stir. She would only wait, until Father awoke once more with the rising of the sun, to speak and teach and create beautiful things.

Time passed, as it must. Days into weeks into months into years. Summer's heat warmed her unfeeling body with dazzling light. Spring unveiled new wonders, flowers and bees and the marvels of the forest. Autumn coloured the trees anew, with oranges and reds, as though the forest were ablaze with living flames. Winter, too, had beauty. The serenity of the sleeping world, a stark white canvas alive with possibilities.

Always, the dream remained near her home, where Father had given her life, where beauty was all around.

Always, time continued on its course.

A year, then two, a dozen and more. Father spoke and taught and created. The dream would listen, and watch, and learn.

Father would go to town, and the dream would remain. Father would sleep, and the dream would wait for him to awaken.

Until, one morning, he did not wake with the rising sun.

The dream waited as the sun rose, then set, chased and followed by the moon. She waited beside his bed, for him to arise and speak of beauty once more. And yet, he didn't.

One day passed into two, then three. Still, she waited, never stirring from her place.

A noise at the door, one who was not Father entering, then leaving. Hours passed, the patient dream wondering what new things she would learn, and more who were not Father came.

Hushed words and curious glances, for loss of the old clocksmith and the presence of a strange masterpiece beside his bed.

When sleeping Father was taken, the dream did follow. From the house and through the forest, to the town where Father spoke to sleeping Mother. A new world was revealed, but the dream longed only for Father to awaken, to teach her of this beautiful new place.

She looked on as sleeping Father was placed within the earth. When the first soil fell upon him, she sat beside the stone that bore his name. When he could no longer be seen, she did not stir. When night fell, words and touches, meant to move her, the strange creation that was the old clocksmith's greatest work, proved fruitless and meaningless. They were not Father, and the dream would wait until he awoke.

A day, a week, a month. The shining oddity, of copper skin and brass hooves, of sapphire eyes and gemstone heart, remained by Father's side. The ponies of the town grew used to her, the gently clicking headstone, the silent watcher beside the clocksmith and his wife.

Slowly, the dream understood. Father would not awaken. He slept eternal, beside Mother, and would teach her no more.

In winter's grasp, seen only by the Mare in the Moon, she spread her gleaming wings. A single beat, then two, then more. Snow and frost fell from the once-still sentinel, and she took flight. She would see all the beauty in the world, and learn the things Father could not teach.

For weeks and months and years, she flew, and never did the beauty of the world end. Verdant forests, lush and green. Burning sand and towering dunes, golden and glorious. Bleak rocks and desolate wasteland, where life clung on, tenacious and unwavering. Cities and mountains, seas and oceans, she saw them all.

In tempests she danced, in torrents she soared. Beneath sun and moon, all the beauty of the world was revealed to the dream, and she learned it all. Her once-gleaming skin, of polished copper and shining brass, dulled and dimmed. A patina crept across her, changing old beauty for new, a sign of the years and untold time spent in search of beauty.

From sunrise to sunset, moon's ascent to moon's rest, she flew. Beyond the known world and back again, learning all the wonders she could find. The songs of great beasts in the sea, the flights of dragons fearsome and wonderful, the mysterious things that dwelled in lands forgotten and lost to the mists of time. Her sapphire eyes witnessed them all.

But something ever more beautiful awaited her.

Countless years had passed when she returned to the land of her creation, where a dream had been given life. A great glow, from a kingdom atop a mountain, as the sun rose to begin its path across the blue sky once more, was seen by a being of clockwork and magic. The dream waited, to see it again, to glimpse the strange beauty once more. Day passed into night, and as sun and moon continued on their chase, the glow appeared once more. With a beating of weathered wings, the dream flew towards it.

When it faded, she waited. When it shone, she followed. Day after day, she continued, drawing ever closer to this new wonder. Forests and paths and towns passed beneath her, yet all went unseen, caught as she was by a beauty unknown.

Finally, her hooves touched the night-kissed land, within a maze of hedges and leaves. She had flown past shining walls and over a city, to the towering spires of a shining castle. Her beauty lay within that wondrous structure, and she had only to wait. And wait she did, until it was time for the sun to rise.

Beauty. It seemed such a small word, to describe the sight before her. With wings and horn, together with stature all grace and height, a coat of purest white, lit by some inner glow, as though the sun had been given form. A mane that made the greatest rainbows cast by misty falls in ancient jungles seem pale, blowing as though touched by a breeze despite the still air.

This, though, was nothing compared to the wondrous creature's actions. Lighting her horn, the beauty spread her wings and looked to the sky. Caught between setting moon and rising sun, she seemed beyond all that had been, or ever would be. That morning, the beauty and the dream wept as one, yet no tears were shed.

The beauty wept as she gazed upon the moon, vanishing beyond the horizon.

The dream wept as she gazed upon such beauty, all she had ever wished to know.

The beauty vanished, returning to her tower.

The dream remained, watching, waiting, to learn more of this beauty.

Day became night became day. The dream remained unseen, concealed with the maze, watching always.

A week, then two. A month. Always, she waited. Always, she watched.

The dream knew beauty, in all its forms. It had learned from Father, from the world, from the being atop the tower. Upon this day, it spread its wings, rearing to take flight... and stilled.

The delicate mechanism within froze. The light left the sapphire eyes.

The dream had been fulfilled. It knew beauty, in all its forms.

Now, she would rest eternal, and sleep without awakening. Just like Mother. Just like Father.

Some years later, a tall and regal being would find herself wandering the maze beside her castle. There was no purpose to her steps, no direction as she walked, merely losing herself within the hedges and leaves.

To her surprise, however, in a dead end, hidden from view deep within the living labyrinth, something she had never before seen awaited her.

It was a masterpiece.

A face serene, born from the union of two, in spirit if not body. Wings broad and graceful, outstretched as though to take flight. Body poised in delicate balance, pointed to the sky. A patina upon the once gleaming copper hide, as though it had been there for countless years.

Princess Celestia smiled. It was beautiful.

Comments ( 57 )

This was definitely worth reading. You have an interesting style, and I'm interested to see what you could do with a longer work.

It sucks how you write all this great stuff, yet it always seems to end up on the front page when there aren't many people checking....

2719511 Eeyup.:fluttercry:
Ah, well. A little popularity is better than none at all.:yay:

Hey, you've been featured on Equestria Daily!

Brilliantly written! A beautiful piece, short and sweet and somber.

I don't think that I could possibly express how I see this in words, though I shall try.

I only have one word to describe it, and it is: "beautiful."

This was heart-wrenching.
Well done.

Mind if I do a recording of this? I'll be finishing my current series tomorrow and I'd love to do this one. I've only got about 60 subs right now but hey, gotta start somewhere.

Short and sweet. A nice and graceful prose. A heartfelt story. Nicely done!

3018367 Oh, yes! Please do!:pinkiehappy::twilightsmile:

3018659>>3018225>>3017816>>3017804 Thank you all. :twilightsmile:

Whoa. This is one of the most well written stories I've ever read. Note that I did not say fanfiction, and that I used to read a LOT. This was beautiful, heart wrenching, and heart warming. You deserve lots of praise, and many, many views.

Oh, this was gorgeous. One of the loveliest pieces of fiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Poignant, tender, and bittersweet. It's rare to find a story written with such grace. Though it's fairly short, that doesn't lessen the impact. This is a story that doesn't draw tears, but it does pierce the heart with a deep, longing ache. This is the kind of story that stays with the reader for a long while, that haunts the mind long after the final word has been read. To me, those are some of the best kind.

Well done. I feel almost clumsy in describing the feelings this story gave me, but that's all I have to say. This was a real treasure. Just...well done.

holy jebus that was incredible, left me crying tears of joy...on the inside. if that makes any sense. great work :twilightblush:

Pony Pygmalion?

All right, this is fantastic. Short and sweet-sad, no wasted words or names or places. Beauty by frugality.

This is poetry, but that cliche doesn't do this story justice. This is beauty in simplicity, simple emotions and ideas, but all the more powerful through your brevity. Really, just fantastic work.

By the way, your story is amazing. Simple and poetic I am afraid I could never do it justice. The tale is short and bittersweet but in a balance that works for it well. Overall it was a terrific read.

3058699 Thanks so much. :twilightsmile: You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to your reading.

Great story, very well written and committed to its style, although it is a bit self-indulgent at times.

I'll just toss this here for anyone else who wants it, though by the time you read this you'll probably have finished the story :derpytongue2:

Listen again. It is worth it.:twilightblush:

Thanks for writing this. :twilightsmile:

3652220 Thanks for reading it.:twilightsmile:

Thank Celestia that I saw this pop-up in my news feed, because this is an absolutely brilliant story! The construction is austere, but the words that are there have ten times the impact.

Bravo to the author on a truly wonderful composition! Have a fave! Hell, I'd give two if I could! :twilightsmile:

Very nice!

Pity there isn't a 'melancholy' tag

3017816 I think the English language needs a new word, just to describe the level of amazing, beautiful happiness this story attains.

Well done, author. You deserve WAY more views and favorites.

And, for the first time, I find myself enjoying the story so much, and yet perfectly satisfied. I want nothing more of this, but it's because you perfectly wrapped it into two short, poignant chapters.

Well done.

This... Was awesome. :twilightblush: Truly, there are no words to describe this. :twilightsmile:

The writing is stark, austere, but it moves me. I am interested in more of such stories.

You've created something here, something the likes of which is rare in any place, much less this site. You've written a story that is simple, yet fascinating. Tragic, yet uplifting.

I'd call it "beautiful," but the word seems too small.

Hmm, I'll confess I don't really get why the clockwork didn't investigate when the beauty didn't show up again, unless it assumed she was "asleep". But this is certainly worth a green thumb.

The clockwork watched Celestia raise the sun every day, until her purpose was fulfilled. The beauty/Celestia didn't ever "not show up".

I would call this story beautiful, but that seems cliche. So, umm... pulchritudinous :pinkiesad2:

4102756 "Always, she watched." Hmm. In retrospect, you're right. Thanks!

4102939 Glad I could clear that up for you. :twilightsmile:

Holy cow. That was just amazing! :pinkiehappy:

Beautiful and gentle, bravo.

That was wonderful and beautiful, and the writing style fits perfectly, and manages to create a dream-like atmosphere. Great job. :twilightsmile:

A story like this rolls right past me.But that's okay! Even I am not blind to how well-written it is.

Author Interviewer

I say, sir. It is entirely unconscionable to set a stranger weeping in such a manner. >:'( Yes, very rude indeed. How dare you, sir. ;_;

This is a masterpiece, honestly. I listened to the audio version, and Illya's unconventional reading voice is extraordinarily well suited for this story. Congratulations to you both.

i listened to illya's reading and this story if beautiful. i am glad i found this fic. it is beautiful poetry incarnate

Yes, yes it was beautiful.

;-; Everyone is going to question why I'm crying , but I don't care, because this is beautiful...

this is the kind of story that makes me jealous as a writer.
i want to do fanart and fanmusic for this, but unfortunately I suck at everything
but really, this is awesome, I love it and I look forward to your future writings

Okay, what the hell is with the vicious dislike bombing? I looked at this a day ago from my home page (where it is proudly on display) and it was sitting on 133/1. One RCL feature later, it's at 150/5... after almost a year of having only one dislike.

Are people that jealous of a story that they see featured in the Royal Canterlot Library that they have to take their own frustrations at being inadequate out on a successful author who wrote something truly beautiful, melancholic, and thought-provoking?

There are very few stories on Fimfiction that can claim to have even a drop of emotion in comparison for such a short word length. I am actually personally offended on my fellow Aussie's behalf.

This kind of behaviour almost makes me wish I would never be featured by RCL, or Seattle's Angels, or anywhere for that matter.

I suppose you could say that it doesn't really matter. More people were able to experience this amazing tale and are better off for it, which every writer wants, I guess... it's just heartbreaking to see its gorgeous rating smashed to pieces by people who clearly either have verdant eyes or cannot recognise true beauty.

The RCL brings a story a lot of extra attention from people with high standards; there's a lot of folks who take the RCL's recommendations seriously and come to take a look at any story which is picked out by them. Thus, getting featured by the RCL means that you're going to get attention from the people who have the very highest standards and who are, consequently, most likely to downvote stories as a result.

Different stories get different amounts of votes as a result of RCL coverage; The Collected Poems of Maud Pie got about 160 or so upvotes and 2 downvotes after being featured by the RCL, for instance. It varies from story to story.

5349578 The reason I felt compelled to dislike it was because it felt meandering and boring, with too much of an emphasis placed on the prose itself and not what it had to say. The story felt weakened by the way the author attempted to deliver it. He's playing too many fancy tricks and licks too compel me. It's a nice story, and the prose is nice as well, but the two detract from each other, jive?

Though, you're probably right. I'm just a jealous bastard and I'm too stubborn to admit it. Sorry for taking that little clicky-color thingy so seriously.

I don't normally speak up much, but I really loved your story and wanted to say so. It felt like almost like reading a song or a poem, so beautiful, balanced, and flowing was the prose. The story told was beautiful and elegantly told, and really everything felt just right. The story was made to compliment the prose, and the prose to compliment the story. It's a gorgeous tale full of feeling and it weaves a spell around the reader as they take it in. Amazing job with this.

5349578 You pretentious twat.

Four downvotes does not constitute dislike bombing, let alone viscious dislike bombing,

Maybe, just maybe, four people didn't like it.

Just imagine, four whole people out of a thousand views.

Craziness I tell you.

And as for 'people who clearly either have verdant eyes or cannot recognise true beauty', you should probably be aware that this make you sound like an asshole. You're welcome to find beauty wherever you like, but lay the fuck of other people who don't see it the same or you're just another bigoted asshat.


Look, I'm real sorry if I come off as pretentious. I really didn't mean to be. Yeah it's not a very high number, all things considered, but I'm the kind of person who looks at things like this:

after almost a year of having only one dislike.

and this:
133/1 = 99.25% approval. vs 165/5 = 97.06% approval
...Okay, I'll admit that's still actually really good. Certainly better than most. I think what happened there was that I took too much personal offense to something that really shouldn't have affected me as much as it did. What bled through my comment was the fact that I have high standards for myself, and if such a thing had happened to me, I would have been devastated. Obviously not everyone sees things this way, and for that I apologise.

Maybe, just maybe, four people didn't like it.
Just imagine, four whole people out of a thousand views.
Craziness I tell you.

Yeah... you're right. And I sorta came to that conclusion when others already replied to me. So your opinion is noted, and in fact well-considered.

But you could have done without the personal insults. I didn't target any one particular person with mine. I was just annoyed and reacted accordingly (that is to say, without thinking). I promise I'm not pretentious; I'm actually a pretty nice guy.

The thing is, I personally reserve the downvote button for stories with an incredibly bad plot, atrocious grammar, or an author with nothing but contempt for constructive criticism (or even as I've seen quite often, all three). To see others fling it around on a story that has none of these aspects annoys me, but of course that's because others do have far higher standards than I, which is something I'll have to remember.

I hope you accept my apology, and no longer consider me a bigoted asshat. Enjoy the rest of your (insert time zone here).

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