• Published 6th May 2019
  • 3,072 Views, 268 Comments

Walk Where There Is No Path - theOwtcast

When everything you’ve ever known goes against everything you believe in, can leaving help you live with yourself?

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Trouble in Paradise

Another sleepless night awaited me in my lonely hollow as I fought to ease the qualm and worry left in the wake of my pondering. The howling wind and pouring rain only intensified the ominous dread. My shivering would have been shaking the whole tree if the storm wasn’t doing that already!

An eternity later, dawn finally broke through the clouds, and the relentless rain finally began to die down. It may yet be a beautiful day, I realized! I’d considered staying hidden for one more day in case the changelings were still around, but the shining sun encouraged me to reconsider. They were in all likelihood long gone by now, and my emotional storm seemed like only a shadow in the past, gone like the night’s rainstorm. Besides, I wasn’t getting any less hungry. It was about time to continue my search for a friend!

I slipped out of the hollow and into the open. I’d had to turn into a mouse to pass through the crack. For a while I just stood there, taking in the beautiful trees and the droplets of water shimmering in the light. I took deep, slow breaths as I listened to the soothing choir of birds.

It did wonders to calm my troubled soul.

With a renewed spirit, I decided I wouldn’t let paranoia overtake me today. Maybe there was something in this forest, waiting for me to let my guard down so it could strike me; but maybe there wasn’t, and for once, I was feeling too good to give in to fearing it.

I dropped my disguise. If an ambush was waiting for me, I was ready to face it.

Nothing happened.

Feeling encouraged, I started walking through the forest, taking my time to enjoy the nature. For a long time I’d wanted to do such a thing: to set aside all worries, take some time to relax, and simply live in the moment, not having to care what the future would bring.

Eventually the forest thinned out and I got a glimpse of the sky. It was peculiar, but I didn’t think much of it; I merely took it for remnants of the storm. Only after I exited the forest completely did I get the full view of the marvel in front of me.

A lovely village splayed across a plateau at the side of a mountain, the houses scattered about, and a large open area between them. White clouds hovered peacefully in the sky above with rainbows bridging the gaps between some of them. But the one thing that took my breath away, a sight unlike anything I could have ever dreamed of, were shimmering rainbow-colored waterfalls pouring from the clouds onto the plateau and the surrounding hills, forming rivers which then became more waterfalls on the edges of cliffs and slopes of the hills, merging gradually into a river that flowed peacefully in the meadow below.

It was glorious!

I stopped in place, my eyes widening in awe at the sight. The sheer beauty of this place was unmatched by anything I’d ever imagined in my wildest fantasies! Such a magnificent place… and yet so tranquil, so soothing that I couldn’t help but envy the ponies who lived in this paradise! If I could call this place my home, I’d never want to leave, not even for a minute!

I must have been so awestruck that I started walking again without realizing it; not only was I unable to take my eyes off this wonder, I felt the irresistible urge to come closer, to lose myself in the divine scene and, if only for a moment, become one with it!

Soon I was almost in the village... but in my trance, I’d forgotten that I hadn’t put on a disguise.

A furious racket brought me hard back to reality.

I’d been so utterly transfixed by the rainbow waterfalls that I’d failed to consciously take notice of the ponies moving about the village, minding their business like they probably did every day. They had absolutely no difficulty noticing me, though, and if I’d never asked myself whether or not they might accept me as their friend, an answer soon arrived in the form of hostile shouts and any hard object at hoof thrown at me furiously.

I didn’t waste time trying to talk to them; they seemed to have an endless supply of rocks and frying pans and an even bigger supply of rage! I tried retreating back in the direction I’d come from, but got cut off by another group of ponies that may as well have materialized out of nowhere. Flying was a tricky task with all the stuff being thrown about, but soon enough it was my only option. It worked at first - curiously, there didn’t seem to be any pegasi in the village that could chase me through the air, at least not at the moment - but soon enough they made a collective decision to show me just how good their throwing skill was!

I just barely managed to dodge most of the objects, and those that made contact with me weren’t quite enough to knock me down, even if one or two did come dangerously close. They were, however, hindering my speed and coordination significantly!

Eventually one unicorn decided to unleash a blast of magic at me. It may have knocked me out cold if his aim had been a little better, but partly thanks to all the projectiles I was trying to dodge, he merely clipped my wing, taking me out of the sky anyway.

I fell onto one of the bridges over a rainbow-colored stream. My first impulse was to curse my luck for not having fallen into the water, where I may have been able to hide from them until the uproar died down, but that wasn’t going to help. I still had to get out of there! By now, the ponies seemed to have run out of things to throw and were rushing at me!

I tried my wing and winced in pain. It would be fine pretty soon, but not if I couldn’t get out of there! Before I had the chance to get up on my hooves, the unicorn unleashed another blast of his magic, this time hitting the bridge and blowing it up in a million pieces.

Having seen what was coming, I’d thrown myself aside as best as I could from the half-sprawled position I’d landed in, narrowly avoiding what would have been a very unpleasant experience, judging from how the bridge had fared. A cloud of dust filled the air at the spot I’d occupied a second ago, hiding the angry mob from my sight.

In a flash, I realized this was my chance: if I couldn’t see them, they shouldn’t be able to see me! The unicorn had tried to incapacitate me but inadvertently ended up giving me a way out!

The cloud of dust was large and thick enough to obscure the burst of my magic as I transformed into a splinter of wood, allowing myself to fall into the stream with the rest of the debris. The noise of angry voices was soon replaced by that of the waterfall, but for a brief moment there was silence. Though I couldn’t see the ponies anymore, I believed they were gathering at the destroyed bridge, upset by the damage and wondering what might have become of me.

I was saddened by having to flee from such a beautiful village, but if anything, it just went to show that beauty meant nothing if there were no kindness and good intentions to match. After all, I didn’t really need beautiful landscape to be happy! Love and acceptance would have meant so much more any day!

I let the waterfall take me.