• Published 4th Oct 2013
  • 1,403 Views, 65 Comments

Secret Ingredient - Pastel Pony

(Unofficial cupcakes sequel) Rainbow Dash is missing, and the stories of a family emeregency just don't seem right, so Fluttershy pays Pinkie Pie a visit, and stumbles upon a horrible secret...Pinkie's special ingredient isnt what it seems

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Part 7: Dreams

The metal cuffs of the restraints scratched against my fur as I struggled against the bonds. I whimpered as the cuffs dug into my skin. Objects of strange shapes sat bathed in shadows around me, while an inky black darkness swirled in front.

Fighting my panic, I continued to attempt to escape my bonds. The more I tried to break free, the closer the darkness became. It lapped the edges of the table that I was strapped to. I let out a wail and ceased to move, watching in relief as the darkness began to subside, sensing my defeat. As the shadows shied away, more of the room slowly came into view.

The place seemed strangely familiar. As faint light began to fall on more and more objects, it clicked. Those horrific party decorations….the bits of… ponies… dotted around the room like furniture…the cart of wickedly sharp metal next to my table.

In a sudden, quick flash of light, I saw the banner on the wall. It’s familiar message etched into my brain.

Life Is A Party

I was in the basement.

I screamed and thrashed against the cuffs that held me in place, pain from the tight bonds ignored in my hysterical attempts to get free. My eyes darted around the room in a panic as I sobbed helplessly. I had to get away from here, to somewhere else, anywhere else.

From the darkness, I heard the clip-clop of hooves as a shadowy shape moved towards me. As the figure came closer, the sounds of quiet singing reached my ears. Growing louder with each step.

Life is a party,

Come and have a treat.

Why make life sour when it can be so sweet?

It was a song I had heard many times before. It had always sounded so happy and carefree, but now the slow music sounded more sinister. I cringed away from it, closing my eyes as if to hide myself from the song. At last the music stopped, and I tentatively opened my eyes to see a smiling pink mare beside me.

“Hello Fluttershy!” she whispered.

I screamed and did my best to fling myself away from her. She rolled her eyes and merely took my head in between her hooves.

“Why so sad?” she said, “This is a party! You can’t be sad at parties!” I merely whimpered as more tears swam down my face.

She pouted and released my head. “Please don’t cry Fluttershy, I can’t have one of my friends upset at one of my parties….What’s the problem?”

“Y-You’re the problem!” I choked out, shaking with fear and anger.

She frowned for a minute, then gave a knowing smile. “Oh I get it! You’re upset cause I’m the only pony here, and none of our other friends have arrived yet!” she nodded, grinning at her own intelligence, “I can understand that. After all, parties aren’t really a two mare thing. Not to worry, dear Fluttershy, I have another one of our friends right here! I’ll go get her so the three of us can hang out!”

I tried to fight the urge to panic as she trotted out of view. Who else had she trapped down here? Rarity? Applejack? Twilight???

“Here we are!” Pinkie Pie bounced back over to the table, a familiar blue doll on her back.

“Oh Celestia…no…” I whimpered. My stomach lurched as I was forced to look at the realistic blue fur, the soft rainbow mane, those unseeing magenta buttons that represented her real eyes. “Get that thing away from me…”

“Why???” Pinkie said, “It’s just Rainbow Dash, she’s our best friend!” She smiled and stuck the filly-sized doll in my face. “Say hello to Fluttershy, Dashie!”

“Hello Fluttershy.” whispered a voice that seemed to come from the doll. I shrieked and flung my head away. That was Dashie’s voice…that couldn’t be her voice…she was dead.

“Dead?” whispered the voice, “Oh, yes, I suppose that’s true. But that doesn’t mean I’m not here. Pinkie saved me, made me a new body, so now we can be together forever!”

“Saved you?” I cried, “She killed you! She killed you, and Twist, and Daisy, and…and…” my voice trailed off. There were just too many names. “She’s not your savior, nor our friend any longer.”

“Well…” cooed the voice, “She certainly turned out to be a better friend than you. Tell me Fluttershy, is it fair that you survived and not me? That the aspiring Wonderbolt, the most loyal and awesome pony in Equestria, died, and you….an animal nut, who barely talks to five ponies, lived?” she chuckled, “Why, if you had been a better friend, you would have found your way down here sooner. Saved me, and so many other ponies. Or, who knows, maybe you wouldn’t have had your rabbit to save your flank. Either way, you’d be dead, I’d still be alive, and Equestria continues as normal. The world needs me, Fluttershy, not you. You should have been the one who died down here.”

“That’s not true!” I whimpered. Tears dripped down my cheeks as I shook my head.

“Oh, cheer up girls!” cried Pinkie, “Here, have a cupcake!” A pink hoof stuck a tray of baked sweets in my face. One was a light pink with green flowers, another purple with little blue hearts. Each one modeled after a victim pony.

The smallest one was a brilliant ruby red, with little bits of crushed peppermint on top of it.

The largest had vibrant rainbow colored frosting.

“What if it hadn’t been me?” whispered Rainbow’s voice. For a second, the cupcake flashed and changed, with yellow frosting and little pink butterflies.

I woke up in bed screaming.

Rarity burst through the door with a panicked look on her face. She quickly trotted over and wrapped her forelegs around me.

“Shh…shh…it’s ok.” she whispered soothingly.

“I…wa-was…in…t-the basement.” I whimpered slightly, trembling in her embrace. “A-and she had…Dashie, and she k-kept saying it was my fault…all my fault.”

“It was just a dream, Sweetie….” Rarity said. Gently, she lowered me down, resting my head on the pillow and pulling up the covers. She scooched onto bed next to me, carefully stroking my mane as she hummed a quiet lullaby.

Slowly, my shivering stopped and my whimpers grew quieter. Once my fear had dissipated, I immediately felt guilty for waking up Rarity…again. When the hospital had released me, they’d made it clear that that I could not go back to my home at the edge of town immediately. Aside from the possibility of a medical emergency, they had warned that I might suffer from some nightmares once off the heavy sleep medicine they gave me there. Though I had reckoned I would have been fine with Angel for company, Rarity had demanded that I come stay with her.

Now, I was grateful.

“Fluttershy, darling?” whispered Rarity, breaking the silence.

“Yes?” I answered after a second.

“You’ve been having nightmares for nearly a week now, every night since you came to stay. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, but maybe you ought to consider seeing a psychologist?”

She paused for a second, taking my silence as a cue to continue. “It’s just that they seem to be getting worse every night, and maybe a professional could help you. Even if they can’t figure out what’s causing the nightmares, perhaps they could recommend some sleeping pills or something.”

“I know what’s causing the dreams, Rarity.” I chuckled sadly, “I’m afraid. Besides, the hospital said that with the strength of the pain medications they had to give me when they found me, it would probably do my body a favor to stay off the meds.”

Rarity sighed, “Your hardly doing yourself a favor letting these nightmares ruin your sleep. Please Fluttershy, I’m happy to have you stay here as long as you want, but I’m no fool. I know you intend to get back to your animals as soon as possible. We both know your in no condition to be on your own right now, and it’d make me feel better knowing this isn’t going to happen without me there.”

I nodded dejectedly. “All right Rarity, I’ll go.”

I ran my hoof over the scratchy orange fabric covering my chair in the waiting room. The clock ticked loudly as the time passed by. I watched as the mare at the front desk scribbled on some forms, never looking up from her work.

At last, a mare trotted out of the door behind the desk. I noticed with a start that is was Twist’s mother, and I quickly snatched up a magazine and pretended to read as she passed me by. Once she had trotted out the front door, the mare behind the desk looked up at me and smiled.

“All right, Fluttershy. You can go in now.”

I nodded shyly and walked past her into the darkened room. In the half-light I could make out a couple chairs but couldn’t spot the mare I was supposed to be meeting with. Suddenly, bright lights left spots in my eyes as a lamp switched on. As I blinked rapidly to return my vision to normal, I heard the doctor’s voice, “Sorry Fluttershy,” she said. “Mrs. Mint prefers the lights dimmed, calms her down, poor thing.”

The mare’s face swam into view before me. She was a unicorn, with a light blue coat, and a frizzy chocolate brown mane. “I’m Dr. Dreaming Sky,” she said, “Would you like to take a seat?”

“Ok…” I whispered, slinking over to the plush sofa. “Dreaming Sky…Isn’t that a bit of an odd name for a psychologist?”

She laughed, “Well, I suppose my parents weren’t expecting me to choose this as my career, they’re both astronomers, after all.”

I smiled slightly, “I doubt my parents were expecting me to be an animal caretaker when they named me Fluttershy.”

“No, probably not.” she said. Sitting down in the chair across from me, she levitated over a notebook and pen.

“Now, Fluttershy, would you care to tell me what the problem is?”

I hestitated, “W-Well, I’m sure it’s obvious that it’s to do with my time in the…basement.” Dreaming Sky nodded, and began scribbling on her paper, “And, every night since I came back from the hospital, I’ve been having these dreams. Each time I’m there, and it’s so…dark. And then Pinkie begins to sing, always singing that song she used to sing while baking. Sometimes she just repeats her actions that happened in real life, other times she acts all friendly and offers me a…cupcake.” I cleared my throat, “Last night, though, there was something new, something much worse than the other times.”

Dreaming Sky frowned, “Could you describe to me your dream?”

I sighed, “She brought out the doll. I-It turned to me and spoke in Rainbow’s voice. Told me that…I should have been the one who…died.”

Dreaming Sky smiled sympathetically, “Fluttershy, this is a very normal thing for a mare in your situation, It’s called survivor’s guilt.”

I miserably shook my head, “No-no, she was right. Rainbow Dash had so much more to live for than me. It…doesn’t even make sense that she died and I didn’t. Dashie was the toughest pony I know, if she couldn’t escape…why should a weak mare like me?”

“Fluttershy,” she said firmly, “There is no “she”. The Rainbow Dash you saw in your dreams is just a figure created by your mind to embody your feelings of guilt and regret.”

I shrugged, “I know that, it just seemed so…real.” I glanced down for a second, “Do you have something that will make the dreams go away?”

I have a mild pill made for calming, “If you take it at night, it will help dissipate the worst of the nightmares. Now, I know the hospital recommended you avoid medicine where you can for a while, but this doesn’t have any strong drugs in it, so it should be fine.”

I smiled, “Thank you.”

“These pills will only delay the issue though, Fluttershy.” she said, “If, you don’t mind, I think it would be beneficial to you if we talked about how your feeling.”

I sighed dejectedly, “Ok.”

“So…” she started, “How are you doing aside from the dreams? How are you spending your day?”

“Ummm…” I whispered, “Well, I’m doing ok, I guess, under the circumstances. I just spend my time at my friends’ homes, we’re all just trying to get though this together. They’re…very kind to me.”

Dreaming Sky nodded.

“But…it feels kind of surreal, almost. Like it’s not really happening. Like it is all a dream.” I shivered, “A really awful dream. But then I look at the calendar, and the number of days till Pinkie’s…execution. And then it all comes crashing down on my head.”

Dreaming Sky sighed, “I’m sorry, Fluttershy, I know that all of this must be very difficult for you.”

I nodded slightly, “I-it’s only happened a couple of times. But…last night was the worst. I looked and…” I closed my eyes, commanding myself not to start freaking out again, “Tomorrow. It’s tomorrow.”

I let out a shaky breath, “Tomorrow they will execute my friend, my joy, the source of my nightmare. And…part of me can’t help but want that because of what she did to all those ponies, to a mare who was as close to me as a sister. But, at the same time…I don’t want to lose her.” I tensed up as I tried to fight away the pain, and then it snapped. “Celestia help me…I’m just so bucking mad!”

I slammed my hooves over my mouth in surprise at my own words. Dreaming Sky regarded me with a professional gaze.

“I…’m sorry.” I whispered, “I don’t know what came over me. I…I meant…sad.”

Dreaming Sky shook her head, “Don’t lie to me, Fluttershy. It’s important to be honest about how you’re feeling. Tell me, Why are you mad?”

I sighed, hesitating for just a second, “I’m mad because I walked away when I shouldn’t have. I…I’m mad because Rainbow Dash died when I would have willingly taken her place in the basement. I’m mad that my dumb luck worked for me, but not in time for anypony else!” I whimpered, “I’m mad because one of my best friends turned out to be something entirely different from what I thought she was, and that she dared pretend to be our friend when she could turn on us so easily.”

I sobbed, the tears that had been building up finally starting to fall down my face. “I see her every night, pretending to be my friend, pretending to love me, and care about me. But…it’s always a lie. And my own rabbit could see past that lie when I couldn’t!”

I buried my face in my hooves, “I stood there in blind innocence when Dashie perished, and that’s what makes the doll in the dream’s statements true. I was smart enough to find my way into that basement, but, Celestia help me, I was to stupid to do it at the right time!”

I slowly curled into a ball as I shook with anger and self-loathing, “How am I supposed to forgive myself for that???....How?”

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