• Published 30th Aug 2015
  • 1,108 Views, 59 Comments

Do Not Go Gentle - ShinigamiDad

Death's Harbinger needs Luna and Twilight's help to solve a centuries-old mystery

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Dew Drop

Dew Drop watched the sun settle into the western sea, its dying rays glinting off the snow-capped summit of Smokey Mountain, far to the east. The little honey-colored mare tossed back her rust-red mane and wiped the sweat from her brow. She surveyed her strawberry patch and adjacent artichoke field with satisfaction, as dusk gathered around her, and the crickets began their song.

She cantered slowly back to her pale blue clapboard cottage, and regarded the sweet pea and ivy that were running riot around and up the porch.

“You’re pretty, but a pain!” She sighed. “I’ll deal with you tomorrow--got cash crops to tend to first. Speaking of…”

She retrieved two pieces of mail peeking out from the small letter box attached to the porch.

“A bill and an order. Funny how these things always seem to balance out!” Dew Drop grimaced, but perked up as she crossed the threshold into her kitchen, scanning the letter from “Grumpy’s Greengrocers of Vanhoover.”

All the artichokes, this time! Well, that takes a load off, to be sure!”

She plopped down on an old bench next to a cast-iron stove, and tossed the opened envelope onto the sand-scrubbed, rough-hewn table a few feet away.

“Maybe I will be able to afford to expand the strawberries next season,” she mused happily, opening the invoice from the local gardening supply shop. A quick read confirmed her hopes, as it was clear she would have plenty of capital left to enlarge her small farm.

She set the invoice atop the other mail, leaned back, rubbed her temples, and sighed wearily but contentedly. She stood and walked to a small sideboard table, under the window, and poured a long draw of hard cider from a stoppered jug into a crackle-glazed mug.

“Oh, that’s nice!” Dew Drop exclaimed as the sweet liquid flowed into her, producing both warming and cooling effects, quenching her thirst, and heightening the impact of her hard-earned fatigue. She moaned a little as her eyelids drooped.

“No, no, no--not yet!” She exclaimed as she shook her head vigorously, walked to the sink and placed the mug in it. She stared glassily for a few seconds at the empty cup.

“Well, maybe I can finish up in the morning,” she argued to herself. “It’s been a long day…”

She turned on the faucet, rinsed out the mug, and stuck her head under the stream, washing away the sweat from her mane and face. She stepped back from the counter, grabbed a towel from an adjacent rack, and wearily ran it across her face and through her mane.

“Close enough.”

She locked the front door, drew the shades, and shuffled into the nearby bedroom. She dropped heavily onto the dark, antique four-poster bed, her pale golden-tan coat contrasting against the forest-green quilt. Within moments her breathing became heavy and regular as the room dimmed, and evening slid inexorably toward night.

“Dew Drop.”

Her eyes snapped open and her ears perked up as she attempted to locate the voice that had just roused her from her slumber.

“Dew Drop.”

“Who’s here?” she asked warily. She didn’t recognize the voice, yet there was something familiar about it.

She rolled uncertainly off the edge of her bed, and stumbled forward, her hooves unexpectedly digging into soft mould and bracken. She smelled the resinous odor of pine trees about her.

She glanced up at the ceiling and saw stars; she furrowed her brow in confusion, and had to step quickly to her right to avoid a gnarled tree root. She spun back toward her bed, but saw only the distant seashore. A full moon now hung in the sky, but it cast no light.

“I warn you, I’m no shrinking violet! I’ll kick your teeth down your throat!” She struggled as the ground beneath her hooves softened and gave way, staggering her.

“I don’t think it will come to that, my dear,” the voice said, again from some unlocatable point in space, “You’ll find it hard to kick anything if you can’t move your legs…”

Dew Drop lurched forward and collapsed on the ground, as though all her joints had come undone at once. Her eyes darted wildly about, still seeking the source of the voice. But the world had darkened beyond anything she had ever known. The absence of light had actually taken on an almost physical form by now, sucking away her ability to even see the grass directly in front of her muzzle.

“What do you want?” she shouted, her nostrils flaring as panic overtook her. Her heart pounded against her ribcage as though it was trying to escape.

“To give you a gift.”

A form appeared above her, impossibly dark, darker even than the void that now enveloped everything before her eyes, everything in her mind, and everything in the world, as far as Dew Drop knew. Her emerald-green eyes widened in terror as shapeless sounds escaped her throat.

“But first I need something from you.”

A blinding golden horn emerged suddenly from the impenetrable gloom and gently touched Dew Drop’s forehead. Tears streamed down her cheeks, dripping to the turf. Her chest heaved violently, and the pounding in her chest stopped. The open world dissolved back into a room, now filled with the sharp smell of urine. Her final fleeting thoughts were of strawberries.

“Thank you,” said the voice.