• Published 8th Aug 2012
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The Crystal War Book I: A Spark to Light the Dark - NatureSpark

A unicorn burnout, two pegasus brothers and Princess Luna's protégé, along with many other friends they meet along the way, embark on an epic journey to prevent war from consuming Equestria.

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Ch.2 One Eye on the Past

~Chapter 2: One Eye on the Past~

Nature Spark was running toward his family at full speed, tearing flank across an open meadow, dirt flying up in clumps behind him as he listened to their calls. Sugar was there cheering his name, as were his mother and father and even his older sister was with them. The next thing Spark knew, there was a strong wind blowing him backwards with the force of a hurricane. It pushed him away from his family and the harder the unicorn tried to struggle against the gale, the stronger it seemed to become. Suddenly, there was water all around. Spark could feel it covering him, surrounding his body and trying to choke the last breath from his lungs. Splash!

“What the buck!?” Nature Spark screamed as he shot off of the couch, his brown mane plastered against his wild eyed face. He whipped his head back and forth a few times before realization set in. “Oh…” The glare on the brown stallion’s face could have turned a cockatrice to stone as he spoke, “I hope Celestia four hoof bucks you up the flank.” Downpour and Draft just chuckled at their friend.

“It would be totally worth it, if you could just see the look on your face right now,” Downpour replied with a grin. The two pegasus had to support each other, because the intensity of their laughter wasn’t letting them stand alone anymore. “You looked like you were about to rip out Discord’s heart and beat somepony to death with it.”

“You have no idea,” Spark shot back. He got up and vigorously shook his mane out, splashing water droplets all over the small living room in the process. Spark took one more look at them both and gave his best glare before bursting into laughter himself. “Seriously though, you two feather brains are lucky my magic didn’t go off and light our faces on fire. Messing with a sleeping unicorn is a really bad idea,” he scolded jokingly.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re super terrifying. Can we smoke now? Otherwise I’m not going to be able to eat breakfast,” Downpour yawned with a quick stretch of his wings, but behind him Draft still seemed a little unsure if Spark was joking or not.

The brown stallion took advantage of the moment and said, “If it happens again, I’m going to use my magic and I’m going to take one of your hooves.” The affect was mostly lost however, when Spark couldn’t keep a straight face. “I’ll roll a joint in a second, but do you mind if I take a piss first? I about lost my bladder on your couch after the whole water bucket joke.”

“Whatever. Just hurry up or we’ll have to start smoking without you,” Draft replied before he turned and made his way towards the kitchen to see what they had for breakfast. Downpour stepped outside to stretch his wings, taking off from the front lawn in a flurry of beating feathers and sending dry leaves blowing in the open front door as he left. Draft just sighed as he walked over and closed the door after his older brother.

While he might not be as nimble as his younger brother, Downpour was by far a stronger flier. Nature Spark had been witness to that when they were colts and Draft had gotten caught in a wind storm. The grey colt hadn’t listened when their mother told him to stay inside that day and before long he was swept away in a particularly powerful gust. Spark had been over at their house playing when he saw Draft in danger and he yelled for somepony to help.

Downpour had wasted no time taking off and flying right up to the largest group of storm clouds overhead, narrowly avoiding being electrocuted while he searched for his little brother. Planting his hooves firmly on the large cumulonimbus, the older pegasus heaved and strained against it. Muscles tensing, Downpour shoved against it until most of the storm was pushed away, taking the strong winds with it. With the storm gone, Draft made it back to the safety of the colts’ warm home and the loving embrace of their mother. Downpour had touched back on the ground and immediately eaten dirt as his exhausted legs and wings gave out beneath him. When he’d finally gotten back to his hooves and started brushing himself off, Downpour’s brand new cutie mark had appeared, much to the bluish colt’s delight.

After a short while, the three friends were all sitting in the brothers’ shed and having their morning smoke. It was a bit chilly, but Spark got absorbed in his thoughts, so the weather didn’t bother him much. He could be a bit oblivious when he was smoking, often times completely unaware what was going on around him, until he eventually snapped back to reality.

“Would you want to live forever?” Spark asked, clearly lost in thought as he stared off with dark brown eyes. “Seriously, never dying of old age year after year, one millennium after another. I’m pretty sure it’d drive me insane.” His friends were used to his sudden philosophical questions by now and Downpour didn’t hesitate to answer.

“I’d be okay with it. I mean think about all the crazy shit you could do with all that time,” his friend replied. “Why do you ask?”

“I was just thinking about the possibility of Princess Luna losing her mind. I mean, she has been around since like…” he paused momentarily to exhale a puff of smoke that quickly dissolved in the air.

“Since like forever,” Draft finished the thought for him. They all took a moment to absorb the idea before he broke the silence once more. “Yeah, I could definitely see that happening. She has seen how many of her friends and loved ones die around her? I don’t care how powerful a pony is, that right there is going to buck their head up.”

“So what, you guys actually think she did it now?” Downpour asked with a slightly confused expression on his bluish-grey face.

“Honestly, I have no clue, but what I do know is that everypony is full of surprises. We all have the potential to snap under the right circumstances, so if you live forever then the right circumstance is bound to present itself eventually,” Spark observed dryly. The joint was snatched from his magic soon after he had spoken.

“Way to be a high killer, Spark. You know that you don’t always have to be so bucking morose. Would it really kill you to share a happy thought every once in a while?” the older pegasus asked as he turned up his nose, sending his short, black mane waving slightly. Then Downpour snuffed the joint and got to his hooves. “Anyways, let’s just hurry up and grab what we need to go see Chestnut. I’d like to get there before lunch time rolls around.” With that he returned to the house, Spark and Draft trailing just a few steps behind him.

“I already got my stuff together, so you two just hurry up and grab whatever it is you need. I’d suggest someone grab a water container because I don’t know about you stallions, but I’ve got the cottonmouth real bad,” Spark explained, emphasizing his point by smacking his dry lips a couple of times. Then, realizing that the brothers would probably be a minute or two, he wrapped a small paper in the green glow of his magic. Pulling it out, along with a small amount of herbs, he set about rolling up a joint for the road. “You can never have too many joints rolled after all,” he mumbled aloud.

“Talking to your self again?” Draft asked him sarcastically as he cantered up from behind.

“Yes I am Draft. It always makes for the best conversations after all,” Spark chuckled.

“What ever you say,” Draft replied as he turned to glance down the hallway. “It looks like Downpour is done packing too. Are you about ready to leave?”

“Yup, all finished rolling this fat, beast of a joint,” Spark answered, holding it up so that his friend could see. “So let’s get a move on ponies.” Downpour cantered out of his room and they all walked out the front door, headed northeast towards Rambling Rock Ridge and Chestnut’s house. A slight breeze rustled Spark’s mane and caressed his face as they rounded the corner and continued down the muddy street.

The old mule’s house was a couple hours away at the pace that they were going, but he had a certain way of somehow always knowing everypony’s business, so Spark knew it would be in their best interests to talk to him before they decided their next step. The trip would have gone much faster had all three of them been pegasus. As it was though, Downpour and Draft would take turns, one flying and one walking with Spark so that they didn’t leave the unicorn far behind. Now that he thought about it, Spark wondered why the brothers hadn’t moved into the clouds after their mother died, so he asked Draft as much.

“That’s a damn good question and I wish I had a good answer to it, but I don’t. If you want to know, well then, you’ll just have to ask Downpour when he’s done flapping around up there,” Draft replied. He gestured toward the sky with his hoof, where his brother was doing what looked like a backstroke across the top of some clouds. “I told him that we might as well move since dad ditched out and mom went and killed herself.” Spark winced at his brash statement of what happened. Draft spoke with such anger towards his mother and had ever since her death. “I mean besides you, Spark, there’s really no one we couldn’t live without visiting monthly. I keep telling him we should move to Los Pegasus and get jobs helping the restoration and expansion effort. He would rather keep wasting time being a burnout here though… no offence.” He smiled awkwardly after he finished speaking and Spark chuckled.

“None taken. I am perfectly happy being enough of a burnout for all three of us if need be. It is my special talent after all,” Spark joked.

“Seriously? I thought you and Downpour were just bucking with my head when you said that you got your cutie mark from smoking for the first time,” Draft replied.

“Well, not really. I mean, I did get it after while smoking, but it was because that’s when I decided to use my knowledge of magical herbs to help sick ponies. I may be a burnout, but I’m still very good at the things I do,” Spark explained. The unicorn smiled and winked, eliciting a bout of laughter from Draft as they walked into the edge of the forest. When the pegasus was finished, he wiped away a tear and took a few deep breaths before continuing the conversation.

“I still got you beat though,” Draft said. The pegasus picked up his pace as he talked, catching up to where Spark was trotting up ahead.

“What?” Spark asked him. A quizzical look was plastered across his brown face, because he wasn’t sure what his friend meant.

“My cutie mark story, I think it’s better than yours,” Draft replied.

“I didn’t realize it was a contest, otherwise I would have made something up that was better. So pray tell, oh king of the cutie marks, what would your story be?” Spark questioned as he rolled his eyes.

“I thought you’d never ask,” Draft replied with a grin.

The brothers had been on vacation in Los Pegasus with their mother when Draft had received his mark. That was the only place they ever went to for a while; because his mother was certain that eventually the boys’ father was bound to show up. It was his favorite city after all. They had been on the way to the markets and shops, where you could find anything your heart desired, or so ponies would say. Somehow Draft had gotten separated from his family. His older brother failed to keep a close eye on him like their mother had asked him to and he wound up down a dark ally in a part of the town that he wasn’t familiar with. After fifteen or twenty minutes of him yelling for help somepony finally came flying his way. Only it wasn’t really a somepony, it was more like a something.

Draft had only heard about griffons before then, as there weren’t any in his home town and very few in Equestria as a whole. It wasn’t until he saw the ropes in their talons that he truly started panicking. The grey colt began flying backwards, but was soon trapped with no where to go but up or down. If he tried to go down he might get away, but chances were that he would tire before he could find another entrance into the city. Going up didn’t appear much better because the menacing griffon looked like it would be far quicker than him. He didn’t have any other options.

It seemed like an eternity to the young pegasus before anything happened. Draft felt something warm on his legs and realized he had emptied his bladder in his fear and started crying. That’s when the eagle-lion hybrid made their move, darting forward with an inequine like speed. Instead of freezing up in fear however, the young pegasus decided to launch himself forward, bucking off the wall for speed. In his panicked state he tore down the alley with enough speed to suck the air out behind him.

Ponies nearby only saw a small grey blur and then got swept up in the trail, rolling head over hooves for entire yards before righting themselves. Draft flew and flew, wildly darting down block after block until he reached the main street. It wasn’t long after that when the Los Pegasus Guard found him and led him back to his worried mother. It was Morning Mist that pointed out to her son the dark blue wings on his once bare flank. He was overjoyed to see his cutie mark for the first time.

“Holy crap…” Spark mumbled. He had slowed down to the point where he was nearly standing still because he had been so caught up in the story Draft was telling. His young friend was right, the unicorn thought, that story certainly trumped his.

“Why are you two lagging behind so much, am I going to have to come back there and carry you little fillies my self?” Downpour asked, having turned back when he had realized how far behind they both were. “What are you two doing back here anyway?”

“Sorry, your brother here was just telling me how he got his cutie mark. I guess I just got caught up in the story.” Spark replied. Hestarted to pick up his pace again remembering that they were trying to get to Chestnut’s place before dark.

“You’ve never heard that story before?” the black maned pegasus asked unbelievingly. “I could have sworn he told you that once.”

“No, I’m pretty sure I would have remembered being told a bucked up story like that,” Spark answered. Now all three of them were walking down the road together and while they might not make it to the mule’s house by lunch, it would be close enough for them. They could always eat something at Chestnut’s house if they wanted to and then return to town afterwards.

“Well I think I’m going to go stretch my wings for a bit. Are you guys fine walking?” Draft asked them. The younger pegasus looked from Spark to his brother, who both nodded their heads, before taking off into the cloudy sky.

“In fact we’re close enough that you may as well just wait for us at Chestnut’s. We won’t be too long,” Downpour called up to him.

“Are you sure, Downpour? I mean, Old Mule Chestnut doesn’t know him as well as he knows me or even you. I wouldn’t want him freaking that crazy mule out,” Spark said as he stepped over an exposed tree root.

“No you’ll be fine, go ahead and go on without us,” Downpour called up to his younger brother, who was already a good distance ahead of them.

“If you insist,” Draft shot back. With that the grey pegasus took off in a whirlwind of beating wings, heading down the trail far faster than he could have walked. Once the two friends were alone, Downpour finally said what had been on his mind.

“Okay, be honest with me for a minute now. Just what in the hay are you really hoping to accomplish after we talk to Chestnut? Are you really expecting to be able to do something about any of this?” the stocky pegasus asked his friend.

“Sweet Celestia, I really wish I knew. It’s just, I don’t know, like a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. It’s a voice in my head whispering at me and telling me I might actually make a difference for once,” Spark tried to explain. The unicorn shook his head in confusion and continued. “Don’t get me wrong now, I love working with magical herbs and helping to heal and spread joy with my knowledge. I just feel like I should try to live up to my father’s image. He was such a great stallion. He worked as Celestia’s advisor and helped my mother raise my sister and I. I guess I’d just be happy if ponies considered me even half the stallion he was.”

“Wow, that is some of that deep shit right there,” Downpour replied. He got a slight smirk on his bluish grey face after he spoke, and Spark couldn’t help but to smile back at him.

“I guess it was,” he mumbled in agreement.

“Speaking of your sister, where the hay did that mare run off to anyway?” Downpour asked. The brash pegasus had always had a bit of a crush on Spark’s sister, even though she would never even give him the time of day. It had been a bit of an annoyance when they were growing up.

“I couldn’t care less. Suri is a brat who ran off just after Sugar was born. I haven’t heard from her since I got her last letter almost six years ago,” Spark spat. He wanted to shout just thinking about that useless harlot who had abandoned them.

“Damn, has it really been that long? Let’s see…” The pegasus went quite, thinking back to the last time he saw her flank around Dodge Spark assumed. “I guess it’s been like six years or so, hasn’t it?” Downpour asked a moment later.

“Yup, and I’ll be just fine if I don’t see her for another six,” Spark responded. The unicorn rounded the last corner on their journey and found himself faced with an unusual sight. Draft was in the process of dodging around various objects that were being launched out of Chestnut’s open door. There were dresser drawers and clothing sailing through the air as the younger pegasus dipped and dove through the air.

“It’s about time you two pricks got here. Spark, would you remind this crazy ass who I am before he hurts himself, or me?” Draft huffed. A wooden stool whizzed by him right then, missing his head by mere inches.

“Hey Chestnut!” Spark shouted. The unicorn galloped to the open door as he tried to get his old friend’s attention. “It’s me, Nature Spark. You can stop throwing your junk at Downpour’s little brother now!” He looked in the front door of the cottage and saw the mule about to hurl a potted plant out the door at the young pegasus.

“What’s that now? You say that miscreant looking pegasus, is with you?” Chestnut questioned. The old mule’s face scrunched up comically when he asked the question.

Spark couldn’t help but to chuckle as he responded, “Yes, that’s Draft. He’s only been here like half a dozen times. How can you not remember someone that ugly?” Spark turned and smirked at his friend, who stuck out a tongue in response. That’s when his older brother flew in the house carrying a good portion of the mule’s furniture in with him. Much of it was broken now, but nothing that seemed too important.

“When you get to be my age you have a hard time remembering faces. I think it’s because you see so many of them that they start to blur together,” Chestnut explained as he took a seat and smiled at the three stallions while they brought in the last of his stuff.

“Don’t give me that line. We only call you Old Mule Chestnut because almost everypony who visits this place is our age. I know you’re only fifty. I remember you saying that you were born the year Discord was defeated,” Spark retorted.

“Okay, you got me. To be honest, I have no idea why I didn’t remember him. I guess he just has one of those forgettable faces,” Chestnut chuckled. Everypony was now sitting around a coffee table that had been brought back into the living room. Spark used the opportunity to pull off his saddle bags with his magic and began digging through them, looking for his herbs.

“It’s a good thing I’m such a nice pony,” he said holding up a small pouch, “otherwise I wouldn’t be in the mood to give you this right now.”

“Oh Spark, you are too good to me,” Chestnut replied with a grin. The muddy brown mule’s green eyes lit up at the sight of the herbs. Smoking helped him with his medical problems, but he only trusted the herbs that Spark would bring over to his house, which meant that the mule was often running out.

“Don’t remind me,” Spark said with a wink in his direction.

They spent the next few minutes on small talk while they all smoked up and rested their tired muscles. After a few hours, the house was fairly hot boxed and all four stallions were out of breath from laughter. When they had finally finished, Spark decided it was time to see what the old mule could tell them about the crime that Luna had been accused of. Chestnut seemed to have been expecting the question and replied almost immediately.

“Well, take all of this with a grain of salt,” the mule said, “from what I heard though, somepony sighted a large flying creature leaving the Crystal Palace, carrying somepony else with them. I’m told that they also found feathers and such that looked like they were left by one of Luna’s royal night guards.” He stopped to let the three young stallions process what they had just heard. “Further more, there have been minor conflicts between our countries for years and they worsened when the Crystal Emperor got sickly. His empress has had trouble maintaining order throughout her kingdom and as a consequence, she’s been forced to react rather harshly to those who question her rule. This has caused many ponies to dislike her, so it is very possible that a resistance movement is responsible for the incident.”

“Why frame Luna though, the resistance wouldn’t really want to fight with the Equestrian government as well as their own would they?” Downpour asked the very same question that had been puzzling his friend since the mule had spoken.

“That’s something I don’t know,” Chestnut replied.

“What about the Griffons, Zebras or Dragons? Anyone of them could be responsible too,” Draft stated. The younger pegasus was bright, but not as involved in politics as the other three stallions he was speaking with.

“I really don’t think it’s the Dragons. I don’t believe I have ever heard of them getting involved in anypony else’s problems,” Spark explained as he scratched his head in thought. “They keep to themselves for the most part and even if they didn’t, we still have a treaty between our countries.”

“Spark is right. The griffons are a possibility since we only have treaties with one of the three factions. The Blood Eyes might have done it, but that would mean that somepony was paying them off for it,” Chestnut added. The old mule’s face wrinkled up in concentration. “While I wouldn’t put it past the Zebras to try something like this, it really isn’t feasible for them to go to war with us. I mean could you imagine a war like that? It would probably envelope the world.”

“Say we wanted to find out who was responsible, where would be the best place for us to go for answers? You must know somepony who could help. You have been all over Equestria and the Crystal Kingdom after all,” Spark asked his old friend.

“What’s this about Spark? You and the burnout brothers here wouldn’t be planning on getting involved would you?” Chestnut asked. He peered over the table at them, already knowing the answer. “Oh, Luna love me! You idiots are, aren’t you?”

“Look Chestnut, Spark here feels like this is something he needs to do and we’re going to back him up every step of the way,” Downpour answered. He stood up from the table and turned towards the door, taking a few slow steps towards the exit. “Unless you know anything else that can help us, I think we should get going.” He started to walk away from the three of them until Chestnut spoke.

“Calm yourself young stuff. I’ll help you three out as long as I’m not going to regret it. Do you all understand how dangerous this little mission of yours could get?” Chestnut asked them.

“Of course we do you old ass, we’re not stupid,” Downpour replied indignantly before sitting down next to his brother once again. “So, where should we go for information?”

“Downpour, shut up for one Celestia damned second and let the man speak!” Draft barked at him. The younger pegasus jabbed him in the side with a wing as he spoke, causing Downpour to wince.

“Thank you very much, Draft. Now, Chestnut, please continue if you would,” Spark said with a wave of his hoof.

The mule chuckled for a moment before replying, “I suppose the best place to find out would be the Crystal Palace, but that is at least a two week journey. It might even take longer if you run into trouble. If I were you, I would head to Canterlot first to meet with my good friend Silver Blood. He has connections all over the government, so if anypony knows what is really going on, it would be him. I’ll just have to let that old stallion know that I’m sending you three to meet him.”

“If we ask Discipula Star for help she would probably be nice enough to deliver a letter for us,” Draft said. Plus it would give you a chance to see her Draft, Spark thought, though he didn’t really think that she was the younger brother’s type.

“That has got to be the best idea you’ve had all day, little brother,” Downpour smiled.

“Alright, so we have a plan now, thank Celestia. I was really getting worried that we were going nowhere fast. It’s what, seven o’ clock or so? If we want to get anything else done today then we had better get a move on,” Spark stated. He stood up from the small table and turned to the mule, who was just finishing the letter for them to give to Star. “I can’t thank you enough for all of your help Chestnut. It really means so much to all of us.” Chestnut just waved a hoof dismissively.

“It’s no trouble. Really Spark, come bother me anytime you have questions about anything. I know I don’t pay you nearly enough each month for all of the amazing herbs you bring me,” the mule replied.

“See you later, old mule,” Downpour replied. He nodded to Chestnut before walking out the front door and taking off into the darkening sky.

“Goodbye,” Draft said as he walked out.

“Goodbye, Backdraft, and sorry again for earlier. I’ve heard that there has been a slew of robberies lately and an old mule like me can never be too careful,” Chestnut explained.

“Don’t worry about it, there was no damage done,” Draft assured him. With that he flew into the sky to stretch his wings with his brother. They clashed in the air and wrestled around for a moment before Draft took off with Downpour trailing after. The older Pegasus could always kick his little brother’s flank in a fight, but that was only if he could catch it first.

“You take care of yourself while were gone, Chestnut. I have this gut feeling that things in Equestria are going to get much worse before they start to get better,” Spark said with a grimace.

“I will Spark, as long as you promise to do the same,” Chestnut replied.

“It’s a deal,” Spark said with a grin. The two friends embraced each other in a hug before parting ways. The unicorn stretched his legs briefly before taking off in a gallop down the road to catch up with his two, winged friends. They had found out as much as they could from this Chestnut and, after saying a few goodbyes, they would be as ready to go to Canterlot as they would ever be.

Nature Spark was nearly half way back to town before he saw hide or feather of the brothers. He had just slowed down to a relaxed trot and was lighting up a joint when he heard the familiar sound of wings flapping above him. “I swear that you two have a sixth sense for knowing when I’m getting high,” Spark called out, not even bothering to turn in their direction as they approached.

“Wow, you were certainly in a hurry weren’t you?” Draft said as he landed on the ground next to the unicorn, followed a minute later by his much slower brother.

“You know, if you were better at magic, you could just teleport yourself to town from here,” the older pegasus observed. Downpour knew how much that would bother his friend, because Spark had never been able to get more than a few feet when teleporting. It was a skill that his wandering mind just couldn’t seem to grasp well.

“Ha ha ha,” Spark replied humorlessly. He gave his friend a flat stare. “Well at least I can roll a joint that burns evenly unlike you, butter hooves.”

“I bet that Star could help you learn how to teleport further,” Draft cut in with a smile, “she’s got to be one of the best unicorns to ever use magic, or so I’ve heard.”

“Easy there, lover boy, we already have something to do that’s a little more important than teaching me how to teleport better,” Spark laughed.

“Maybe he’s right, Spark. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool if you could teleport us all to Canterlot instead of having to walk for a week?” Downpour asked.

“I hate to tear down the walls of your fantasy world there, but I’m afraid even Draft’s marefriend couldn’t teleport herself from here to Canterlot, let alone two other people. I’m afraid I’m just going to have to hoof it, and if you two still want to come then you’ll have to as well,” Spark replied.

“There is no way that I’m about to miss a road trip to Canterlot with you two… and she’s not my marefriend,” Draft huffed in defiance.

“You should ask her out before we go. You know you like her and what if we never came back?” Spark joked, knowing that his friend wasn’t actually interested in Star as a potential marefriend.

“I don’t like her like that… and why wouldn’t we come back? It’s not like Canterlot is unsafe or anything,” Draft objected.

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that, little brother. You heard Chestnut, the Crystal Kingdom is on edge and we’re the ones who are going to pay if somepony doesn’t do something very soon,” Downpour replied. The three stallions grew quite after that as they each got lost in their own thoughts.

They arrived near the path to Spark’s house at dusk and decided it would be best to save their goodbyes for the next day. They would go home to pack up what they needed and then get some sleep. In the morning they would have plenty of time to say farewell to friends and family before talking to Discipula Star.

“You guys make sure to meet me at my mother’s house before noon and we’ll leave from there. Any questions?” Spark asked the brothers.

“Sir, no sir!” the pegasus replied in unison with mock salutes, causing them to giggle hopelessly at each other as Spark rolled his eyes. Then the two pegasus flew off into the night, towards their house where they would get their supplies ready.

After Spark was done packing everything he thought they would need, the herbalist set about making sure each of his plants would be fine while he was gone. He made sure to pick the ones that were ready, so that they would dry out instead of going bad in his absence. He also had to wrap up a few of his already dried herbs to take into town the next day. With those tasks taken care of and the rest of his house in order, Spark crawled into bed to get some sleep.

He thought about his visit with Chestnut for a while, as well as what he was going to tell his mother when he saw her. She would worry about him the whole time he was gone of course, but at least he wouldn’t be alone for the trip. Sugar was going to miss him too, the poor little colt. He needed to remember to bring him back a gift of some sort for. Maybe a pet so that he would always have a play mate when Spark was gone. With that thought in his head, Spark closed his eyes and drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

Author's Note:

It's kind of funny that I based most of my characters on poeple I know, but throughout the story they developed personalitites that are quite a bit diferent than their inspirations. Chestnut was one of those characters that wound up with very little in common with the person I based him on.

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