• Published 13th May 2012
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Austraeoh - Imploding Colon

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Rainbow Dash thought it was a boulder at first. However, as she flew closer towards the object on the top of the hill, it turned out to be hollow. Her goggled eyes finally made out what could only be splintery spokes of wood and the crumbling mortar frame of a fireplace.

There was no second thought to it. She shifted her wings, coasted down, and dove towards the site. The abandoned cabin was located quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Rainbow Dash had since passed over two sharp mountain ranges. Here, a shallow ravine ran north and south, splotched over with thin grass and green shrubbery. In the center of this ravine—surrounded on all sides by forested mountains—was a lone, run-down cottage. It was as alien as alien could be. It called to her like a kindred spirit.

She touched down in a flat yard of grass bordering the cabin. Blades of grass splattered her limbs with cold dew as she trotted slowly around the structure. The golden glow of early morning electrified the scene with a rising, platinum mist. Stray butterflies took off and fled lazily from Rainbow's presence as she approached the doorframe to the crumbled house.

Standing upon the threshold, Rainbow raised her shaded goggles and stared nakedly upon the junk-laden “interior” of the place. There was no surviving ceiling, so that every bit of the cabin's contents had been soaked to the brim with moisture, mildew, and the mountains' perpetual breath of fog.

There was a bed in the corner, its rusted springs overgrown with vines and flowers. A tattered mattress had spilled over. It must have once made a home for winged creatures, judging from the threadbare nests half-stuffed in its fluffy folds.

The fireplace was full of dried logs, painted over with green mold and algae. Rainbow Dash wondered who had left the pieces of lumber there, unlit, as if somepony was once planning on a peaceful evening alone.

She glanced around the lengths of the place. There was no sign of another soul having been there for ages. She could only wonder just how old the house was, or why it had been built in such a remote place to begin with. Every hoofstep she took sent crackling noises through the crumbled domain, tearing down countless years of abandoned history beneath her twitching ears. Her eyes fell over a sea of shattered dinnerplates. The slightest hint of floral designs across the porcelain material glistened in the neutral sunrise.

Rainbow Dash let loose a strong exhale. The more she looked, the more detritus and rubble there appeared to be. She glanced at the top of the fireplace and saw what looked to be a picture frame. She marched over and raised a hoof to the object, tilting it up so that its canvas surface once again graced the light of day. All that spoke to her was brown mildew, except for a few stray lines etched in the shape of what she could only determine to be the royal celestial crest.

The very moment she saw those solar bands, she dropped the picture frame like a brick to the uneven floor. Her nostrils flared. Spinning around, she trotted firmly back towards the doorframe of the cabin's entrance. Just as she was about to take off, her peripheral vision caught something. She glanced aside, squinted, then knelt down low.

In the wooden surface of the broken doorway were two initials, carved within the unmistakable outline of a heart: “EE & EG.”

Rainbow Dash's lips pursed. Her wings flexed briefly. She wondered who could have left those initials, how old they had to have been, if the pony who first etched them there could still be alive or not. She pondered over how many ages had gone by—cold winters and dew-laden summers—during which those lone and seemingly insignificant letters had lingered lonesomely, abandoned in the vacuum of two steep mountain ranges, only for one soul and one soul alone to eventually stumble upon them.

Were they made for her? Could she have possibly given them the proper attention they deserved? Were the souls who scratched them into the annals of history properly vindicated from their existence?

Rainbow Dash had flown by herself over valleys, mountains, rivers, and plateaus. She had pierced the penumbra of stars and the pale gaze of the moon. Only now did she feel suddenly and hideously alone.

A lump formed in her throat. The pendant weighed heavily. She trotted numbly away from the cabin like a pony possessed. Suddenly, though, she stopped. Her head lifted up, her mane being caught in a warm gust of morning air. She turned around, stared at the cabin again, and smiled.

Firmly, she trotted into the cottage. She fetched several of the logs that had been left in the fireplace. Opening her saddlebag, she pulled her metal hatchet out and clamped it in her teeth. Using the instrument with expert precision, she hammered four of the logs into the ground so that they acted as signposts. Next, she pulled loose a fallen panel of oak from the cabin wall itself. She slid this over and propped it in between the four logs. She gazed proudly at her work. Not even the strongest blizzard could shove this erect plank of lumber down.

Next, she squatted before the wooden panel and aimed carefully with the sharp edge of her hatchet. With strong teeth, she leaned forward, back, left, and right, so that she etched several sharp lines against the pale surface of oak. It took the better part of an hour, but she was convinced that what she made would last for decades.

Once her work was done, she slid the hatchet back into her saddlebag, took a few steps back, and stared at the panel. Five names shone in the golden light cascading across the valley. The sign was arranged so that the letters would catch the sunlight at both dawn and sunset.

It didn't make Rainbow Dash feel any less lonely, but the site felt a great deal holier than it was before she arrived. Satisfied with her task, she turned her back to the names, stretched her goggles over her face, and soared sunward, allowing the heat of the birthing day to melt her thoughts into obscurity.

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