• Published 8th Feb 2021
  • 457 Views, 30 Comments

Healing Shadows (2e) - AzuraKeres

On her scavenge for volt shrooms in the bayou, Meadowbrook comes across a shadow that will alter her future for the good and worst. Follow her tale of love, hope, and despair as tries to build a future with a stallion trapped in the past.

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01: King and Commoner

Sombra ached a pain that pervaded endlessly through his body. He loathed at his hopeless patience for the pain to wane. However, the only silver lining to this was that it assured him he was still alive.

Sombra had found himself in a pitch-black space. There was nothing for him to touch, nothing to feel but the cold air and the sound of streaming water beneath him.

He had been trapped in this dull prison for what felt like weeks or months. Perhaps even eons. The world felt timeless, no matter how much he wanted it to move forward. Nothing would change, nothing would occur, nothing would save him from his boredom.

And he had Twilight Sparkle and her accursed friends to thank for this.

When Sombra thought he would endure another unknown time of stillness, he suddenly felt his sense of gravity shift. Whatever matter that latched above him, he could no longer feel. Losing it intrigued Sombra, but then his mind squirmed when his body was dumped into rough waters that unceremoniously pushed him along its swift stream.

His body flipped and bumped on walls within the darkness, but then his sight registered a light beaming within the distance. The stream quickly guided him through that light, and then he came to realize he was being spewed from a pipe. The construct dumped Sombra into a lake where even that continued to move him against his will. What a pitiful sight to find a king. He could not bear to let any creature see him like this.

He grimly took solace when he found that it was nighttime. There was much darkness that he could hide himself in.

Sombra tried to rebel against the stream, attempting to reach the shore. But he felt nothing from his body. He could feel no rattle from his limbs or even his voice reverberating in his protest. None of this felt natural.

He recognized that there was no hope of him escaping the waters. The world had given him hope just to curse him to new despair.

He resigned to let the river take him wherever it led. His mind seethed with rage at seeing Canterlot shrinking within the distance.

I was so close,” he thought.

His thoughts subsided when he noted roars of the water. The river seemed to disappear within the horizon, distant lands and oceans could be seen from the distance.

No!” he thought, coming to realize what awaited him.

However, no matter how much he struggled, his body neglected his command. And inevitably, the river threw Sombra into the waterfall.

Sombra’s consciousness returned when he felt his body rub across something brittle. It felt like tiny tacks constantly prickling him to his annoyance. Though his vision was blurry and beclouded of thin darkness, he could still make out his surroundings.

“Sand,” he said.

It would appear his wish to make it to shore had finally been blessed to him. If only he wasn’t worse for wear, he would thank lady luck for this prize.

Sombra trudged up the shore, finding a sandy hill where he could see trees above. However, a wave of water crashed on his backside, beckoning to pull him back as if it was the river Styx. He refused to become the plaything of water. The dark king shall not fall to the whims of nature.

His newfound vigor garnered him the strength to crawl atop the hill. How he could move was still an enigma to him. He could tell he had no limbs, but his body did not feel light when he was once a shadow. Whatever his darkness has deformed him too, he couldn’t allow any creature to witness.

Sombra stood before a dirt path where a cluster of trees and shrubs inhabited the other side. It may not be fashionable for the dark king, but hiding in the forest was his best option for recovering his strength. At least until he can find his way back to Grogar.

He motioned his body on the dirt path, but when he crossed the middle, a cold sensation washed over him. He recognized this feeling as the alert of dark magic in play. Sombra wondered where it could have come from. Who could be its caster? Could it be Grogar and his new minions?

Though the idea of working under another creature riled his pride, he knew his options were limited.

This is not an admittance of my servitude,” Sombra thought. “I will play into his trust and once I have received what I came for, I shall ensure there is no obstacle to my rise. And then, I will finally find a way to bring you back, my love.

Before Sombra could track the magic, he paused at the sound of hoof steps and wheels. From the dark and moonlight, Sombra saw two stallions pull a carriage. With how dark it was, it would be near impossible for them to note his presence. Perhaps he will use that to his advantage.

Sombra timed his moment and prepared whatever strength was stored in his mysteriously small body. When the stallions drew near, Sombra launched his body between them and splatted upon a ledge of the carriage. A thin pain pulsed throughout his body, but Sombra could take comfort in his action.

To him, having servants serve as his transportation weighed better than taxing his feeble body. He will use them to draw close to the dark magic as close as he could before continuing his lone journey afterward. And once he made it there, hopefully, he will become whole again.

Sombra had taken a nap during his escort near the dark magic. When his sights fluttered open from his darkness, he found himself on random dirt of the road.

His vision scurried awry, searching for an explanation for his displacement. However, there was no creature around. And to make matters worse, his body had been drenched in wet mud.

Did it rain during his slumber?

The morning light revealed the dirt path to be dampened. That could be the only answer. The rain had sodden his ride and slid him off of the carriage. Sombra wanted to vent his rage but knew how fruitless the effort was in his condition. With an inner sigh, Sombra pressed onward to the source of the dark magic.

To his misfortune, it appeared fainter to his senses. However, his body was able to detect this magic. He could surmise that his escort had only lengthened the journey he must tread.

“That’s what I get for relying on simpletons,” Sombra grumbled.

Sombra ventured into the dense forest, displeased with the dirt and grass that stained his body. However, his smudges became the least of his concern when the sun beamed upon his tiny figure. He instantly felt a sizzling pain, as if he was being pressed by a hot branding iron.

Sombra hastened into the nearest shadows. Underneath a tree, Sombra glared at the sunlight gradually extinguishing the surrounding darkness.

“The accursed light of Celestia,” Sombra sneered. “You and the Crystal Heart will always be a bane to my existence…”

Sombra regretted the latter of his thoughts. Though Amore’s creation filled him with contempt, it was still a treasure that Radiant Hope adored. Had she simply joined him, he could have given it to her as a gift and so much more.

No. That was still to come. Sombra was determined to make it so. It’s the reason he was okay in submitting to his conqueror ways. As long as he had Radiant Hope, then it would be worth it.

Although, seeing as the sun now limited his movements, he would have shelter for the next night to come.

Sombra had hidden underneath the shadows of trees. Among one, he discovered a burrow underneath. Sombra trekked inside the entrance, trying his best to endure the pain of his burn marks.

The downward slope into the burrow rolled Sombra inside. It annoyed him to say this, but he honestly felt eased to be in the darkness. Even if it was underneath an inferior life form.

He suddenly noted a growl near him. His vision quickly adjusted to the darkness and he noticed a fox snarling its fangs at him. Its stomach appeared to be bloated, either from the luxurious success of its hunting or perhaps…

The fox lunged upon Sombra and sunk its fangs into his form. He had no time to react, no way to defend himself. The thought of becoming the meal of an inferior creature sickened him, but what was he to do? At least he could not feel the pain.

The fox faltered away from Sombra, whimpering into a corner of the burrow. He awed at the sight of the fox fumbling about and sizzling before him. It soon stopped moving. Its body had decayed, leaving nothing but its ash and bones.

Sombra noted a collection of smaller bones within its ribs. It was just as he figured…

He ignored its corpse. He did not have the luxury of concerning himself with every life that came his way. His only concern was to conserve his strength and wait for the night to come again.

During his hibernation, Sombra distinguished the sound of a mare outside. The sound of a mare humming. Piqued by his curiosity, Sombra ventured back into the wilderness. He kept a safe distance away from the sunlight and tracked the voice into an opening, where a blue mare with turquoise eyes appeared to be picking mushrooms.

“This isn’t good,” the mare said, her face riddled with concern. “The volt shrooms shouldn’t be growing so close to the river.”

The mare before him baffled the dark king the longer he looked at her.

Why on Equestria did she wound her scarlet mane upward and braid her tail? Or wear a grass-green skirt over her back and flank?

She had to have been a native of this rural area.

With his interest satiated, Sombra resigned back to the burrow. However, on his way, a gust blew and prodded the trees to open a light upon Sombra. Though it was brief, the sunlight charred his skin again, causing the dark king to flail frantically.

“Hm?” Sombra heard the mare through his anguish.

Drat,” Sombra cursed in his thoughts. “Don’t tell me she heard me.

Sombra attempted to retreat into the burrow, but by the time he trudged before the entrance, the mare had passed a shrub he recently hid in. And she found him.

Her eyes gaped at his mysterious form. “I’ve never seen a thing like you here in the bayou. What are you?”