• Published 23rd Mar 2020
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Do Ponies on Earth have Magic Dreams? - Tiki Bat

The story of an optimistic young night pony, the special pony that enters his life, and how the two of them follow their dreams to make the world a better place!

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Chapter 47: The End of the Line…

Stanley had always had sensitive eyes as a human, and becoming a night pony had only dialed that light sensitivity up even further. Right now the world to him was a bright blurred mess that hurt his eyes and made him both tired and agitated, and the only real thing keeping him from outright going to sleep was the fact that Marcus was supposedly almost there. The definition of almost there it seemed, was actually much longer, because their last call had been roughly an hour before, and now it was just the waiting game of whether he’d actually arrive or not.

Letting out a deep sigh, Stanley curled up on the ground under a wispy shrub and wrapped his wings around his head, making a little tent around his head so he could actually see his phone’s screen. As he could have probably guessed, it was nothing. No text, no calls, not even a simple read receipt on his last message (that he had frustratingly typed out with his wings no less, because dictating the message in a crowd of talking ponies just wasn’t going to work.).

“Hey, he’ll get here.” Midnight commented as she laid down next to him.

Stanley peeked out from his little wing-tent and furrowed his brow, a task that looked almost comical with his harshly squinted eyes. “I know, it’s just frustrating not knowing anything right now. I feel like there’s a lot on our shoulders right now.”

“There is, but we’ve done all we can do. Now it’s time to just sit back and relax. There’s a lot of work ahead of us and getting burned out right out of the gate isn’t going to help much, now is it?”

Stanley shook his head. “No, it won’t, but it’s hard. I’ll feel a lot better when we’re not stuck out in the middle of a desert with no real way to get back home. And let’s not forget that we also don’t have electricity to charge my phone, which is our one tangible lifeline to civilization right now.”

“I know it’s stressful. Just relax though, when was the last time you talked to him?”

“About forty five minutes ago.”

“Then he’s probably close by and just took a wrong turn. You know how weird and hard to follow that path was at first, right?”

“Right.” Stanley agreed, “It’s just hard to settle down, you know?”

“Would it help if I kept an eye on the phone for a while then? So you can relax and take a nap?”

Stanley looked down at the phone and hesitated for a moment, almost hoping for it to suddenly jump to life in a burst of activity. When it didn’t, he simply nodded. “Okay… let’s do that then. Just wake me up when he’s here?”

“Of course.” She held out a hoof and Stanley begrudgingly passed it over to her. Waiting another moment for a call that didn’t come, he finally relented and settled down for an uncomfortable nap. The middle of a hot desert in broad daylight made for a terrible resting place, even with his pitifully bad source of shade, but Midnight was right. They had a lot of work ahead of them, and he needed all the rest he could get before it.

Closing his eyes, he slowed his breathing and entered a calm dreamless sleep, which was a rather unusual ability for him to have, but nonetheless a welcome one. Sometimes a night pony just needed a break from dreams, and Stanley was more than happy with it.

Sleep as a night pony was always weird once their magic developed fully. Not in the traditional sense of the word, but in the sense that they didn’t get a chance to truly sleep and not have at least some perception of their dream. A lot of ponies like Silver Eclipse could alter and change the dream, or simply just fall into its narrative, but as far as Stanley knew, not many would just dispel it and turn off their perceptions for lack of a better word. Stanley could though, and that’s exactly what he chose to do.

The experience to him was unexplainable. It was like you just entered a quiet empty room and sat around until you woke up, with only a phantom memory lingering to remind him of the experience. As he also found out (through an accidental discovery with Midnight), he could guide others into a similar peaceful sleep. Whether this would prove a useful skill or not, he didn’t know. But what he did know was that it helped him relax when he was particularly stressed out, and today was one of those days.

A gentle rocking pulled him out of the peaceful rest and back into the bright burning desert.

“Bwa?” He grunted out, straining to keep his eyes squinted open.

“He’s here.” Midnight replied.

Stanley briefly considered asking about how long he had been asleep for, but instead jumped up and dusted himself off, looking around until his eyes fell on a sleek black shuttle van parked with the small crowd of ponies around it.

“Oh good,” he smiled. “So where are we at then?”

“I went ahead and took a head count while you were out, and I made up a list of everypony who’s still coming along. A couple decided that they’re going to take their chances elsewhere, but almost all of them will follow us along to Mesa Verde.”

“Who’s leaving?”

“Hudson and Fractal.”

“So we’re down a unicorn and our only crystal pony.”

“Yep. The rest of the earth ponies are sticking with us though, and Blue Spring and River Breeze are coming along too.”

“They are? I thought they were still going to hang around in the village?”

“They had second thoughts.”

“No kidding,” he marveled. Spring was the one that just moved here from Colorado, right? That’s got to be a rough move.”

“Mhmm she said she’s done moving around after this, so I guess that’s another reason for us to make sure things go as well as they can.

“Well another unicorn and pegasus tagging along for the ride is going to make this a lot easier.”

“I agree. So, should we get going?”

Stanley nodded and looked off into the distance again, “Yeah. Let’s do that.

The voices of the ponies around Stanley swirled into a loud cacophony that made his ears twitch in agitation. Boarding the shuttle and getting a final headcount was the last thing to do and then he could settle down for a well earned sleep. Thankfully for him, both of those things didn’t require a ton of participation on his part.

“So let me guess, you’re Stanley?” a tall human that Stanley could only assume was Marcus asked as he slicked back his jet black hair.

“Mhmm,” the night pony looked up at him. “So you’re Marcus?”

“Last I checked I was. So this is the group of outcasts and exiles eh?”

“Yeah, it makes it sound a whole lot cooler when you say it that way though,” Stanley laughed out. “We’re just a bunch of ponies trying to find their place in the world.”

“An old mining town in the middle of some old cursed valley is your place in the world?”

Stanley shrugged. “Could be. Guess we’ll find out.”

“Uh huh… well, can’t say it’d be my first choice but hey, if that’s what yours is then it’s not my place to judge. So is everyone— er, pony? Here?”

Stanley looked over to Midnight and shrugged, “Not sure, we’re kinda working on that right now. Should know soon.”

“Gotcha. Well, anything I can do to help out?”

“Got any food and water? I know a bunch of them are probably a little famished.”

“Already got that covered. Took a detour to the first store I could find just to stock up on some water and snacks. I’ll go ahead and let you all break into those once everyone’s settled and we can get going.”

“Good. So we’re set to go then?

“Yessir, Barney and Giles got the go ahead that they could head down there today, and were just getting their stuff packed up for that.” he paused and through the harsh blinding light of the sun, Stanley could see him scanning him with a hard to read stare. “Sorry it took so long, by the way, I should have given you more notice before instead of just leaving you in the dark.”

“Barney and Giles?” Stanley started to ask before realizing that that must have been the inventors’ human names. “It’s okay, I’m just glad you’re here now.”

“No problem at all, friend,” the human took an exaggerated look at the crowd of ponies that were slowly filing into the shuttle, and turned back to Stanley. “So I can’t imagine there’s a good reason that this many ponies are just taking a mass exodus, wanna give me the rundown of what happened?”

Stanley let out a long yawn and looked longingly at the front seat of the open shuttle. “It’s a long story, too tired to explain, ask one of them about it.”

Midnight trotted up towards the pair and laid a supportive wing across Stanley’s back. “Look, we’re a little tired, we’ve had a long day. Night ponies aren’t good with direct daylight like this either. Nice to meet you by the way, I’m Midnight Sun.”

“Well it’s nice to meet you too, Midnight. Guess you guys had a bit of a wild day then, eh?

“Yep, you could say that. The short rundown is that some stuff wasn’t working out here and we had a really good opportunity open up that would let us leave on a good note.”

“And that mining town is the good note I’m guessing?”

“Yep! If you really want the full rundown then one of the others can give you that while we’re driving.”

“Well we’ve got a long ride ahead of us so we’ll have plenty of time for a story or ten.” Marcus cheerfully replied.

Stanley nodded and groggily made his way towards the shuttle’s open door. With a little bit of effort, he hopped up into the front seat and made himself comfortable, briefly glancing back at the ponies behind him. Midnight pulled herself up into the spot next to him and loudly called out the names on her list one final time, making sure that no pony would be left behind.

Turning his attention back towards the village in the distance, the shuttle’s radio drowned out the voices around him, leaving him with a brief moment of reflection. So many thoughts ran through his head, of the world around him, the future ahead of him, and how they’d all have to come together to make their own place in it.

Seemingly satisfied that everypony was present, Midnight slid her notebook into her bag and dropped it onto the floor. “Alright, we’re all set.”

Marcus nodded and turned the radio down, “Alright everybody, get nice and comfy because we’re all set to go. Be sure to keep your hooves, legs, tails, and heads inside the van at all times, and if you need anything please feel free to holler at me.”

“Got anything to drink?” River Breeze, one of the few remaining unicorns in the group asked.

“There’s some water and some snacks in the back, if it’s too hard to get back there then have someone send it up to you. I’m not gonna make you all wear seatbelts… we don’t really have enough anyways, so please try and stay In your seats as long as we’re moving, okay?”

“Ya know, ponies are pretty durable right?” Gizmo asked from his seat towards the back.

“Yes, but I’m also the driver so I make the rules here… plus I really don’t want to get pulled over and ticketed for some weird seatbelt law technicality, okay?”

There was silence and no pony seemed to have any objections. Happy enough with this, Marcus turned the radio back up and put the van into drive. “Alrighty then, let’s get this show on the road, I'm sure you’re all ready to get going.”

A few cheers and hollers of excitement rang out, bringing a smile to Stanley’s face. For a short while it was almost deathly quiet, with only the sounds of the road filling the van, but then somepony in the back began to whistle a little tune. That one whistled tune soon turned into a chorus of whistling, followed by some well timed hoof stomps. A sweet melodic voice started singing along to the tune, and in true pony fashion the single voice suddenly turned into a choir of singing that was almost deafening. Marcus briefly glanced back in the mirror before laughing and nodding his head along to the tune. Stanley on the other hand, was finding the experience to be detrimental to the sleep he so desperately needed, but he wasn’t going to be one to ruin a good time. Instead he slowed his breathing and let the music fade into the background as he followed that sense of magic that he had grown to know so well and drifted off into another peaceful sleep.

This sleep however, would not be dreamless for long. He needed to touch base with Silver, and he knew that the stallion would be more than excited to hear the news of their departure.

Silver stretched out his sore wings and fiddled with one of the knobs on Scarlet’s telescope, momentarily ignoring the picnic dinner that Scarlet’s mother had prepared for them. After all, the mare had left him for a few minutes to go in and fetch one of her many notebooks, leaving him with the chance to get a feel for the astronomy instrument without Scarlet’s supervision.

As he ran a hoof along the cool metal, a feeling of curiosity and wonder filled him. He never knew that this was the kind of hobby that would hook him, but Scarlet’s passion for it had sucked him in and fostered a genuine joy for the subject.

“Curiosity killed the cat you know,” Scarlet laughed from behind him, earning a very surprised eek from the stallion.

He flipped around and wheezed for a moment, as a jolt of pain ran through his side. “I was just uhh…”

“Curious. It’s okay,” She laid a hoof on his side and gently guided him to the ground, “I can tell you’ve been wanting to play around with this for a while, and I’m kind of surprised you’ve held out for this long.”

“You have?” he asked in surprise.

“Of course. As far as you’re concerned I’m the best night pony astronomer on earth. You don’t think I can’t tell when another pony’s been bitten by the bug?”

Silver blushed and looked back over at the telescope. “Am I really that obvious?”

“Well unless all this cutesy cuddly under the stars stuff is just an act… then yeah, you’re really painfully obvious. I’d assume you were staring at my flanks or something but I can tell you’re really trying to figure out how everything works. Right?”

Silver’s face deepend into a darker crimson and he nodded, “Yeah. This is honestly my favorite thing we do. I love going on dream adventures with you, but there’s just something so… nice about spending time under the stars and having you teach me about everything. I know I don’t really understand all of it, but I love it all the same.”

Scarlet cuddled up next to him, “Well I love it too, and I can’t wait to show our bright little star everything.”

Author's Note:

So here we are, seemingly at the end of the line… there’s still some of the story left to tell, and that’ll be out sometime in the near future, though this is the last “regular” release. Expect daily releases when the story returns!

Interested in seeing more? Let me know what you think down in the comments.

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