• Published 28th Aug 2012
  • 5,767 Views, 241 Comments

Me, You, and a Library for Two - Dull Mist

A story about a stallion meeting his childhood crush for the first time in years.

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What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

“Lu-Luna?” Silver Quill stammered in surprise. “What are you doing here?

The princess of the night tipped her head to the side, her expression unreadable. “The question is not what am I doing here, my friend.” she said slowly and clearly. “Rather, it is what art you doing here.”

“Me?” Silver said, flabbergasted. He looked around in bewilderment, his mind strangely clouded, obscuring his memories from him. What was he doing here? he didn't have his books or his writing materials with him, and couldn't remember if he had had the sudden urge to go out for a walk or something. He couldn't even remember walking here.

“I always come here.” he said as a poor compensation for being unable to remember why he had come to his favourite writing grounds.

Luna pursed her lips thoughtfully and turned her head back around to peer into the pond. “Indeed…you have been coming here quite often as of late.” She turned around and faced Silver Quill once more, her face now stern. “And therein lies the problem.”

Silver’s thoughts ran rampant in confusion. “What problem? What are you talking about?” he asked, hopelessly confused.

The princess looked at him for a few seconds, her eyes narrow and her jaw firmly set before her expression softened as she smiled at him. She opened a wing and gestured for Silver to sit next to her.

“Come, Silver. We, that is to say, thou and I, must converse.”

Silver looked at her strangely, wondering what it was she was on about, before making his way forward. He sat down next to Luna who gently lay her outstretched wing around his shoulders. They sat in silence for about a minute, Silver awkwardly and Luna thoughtfully before the silence was broken.

“It’s a lovely night tonight.” He remarked lamely. The princess looked up through the sparse canopy of leaves that reached into the clearing and smiled a bittersweet smile, one that showed not joy, but concealed sadness. Sadness for what, Silver couldn't fathom.

“Indeed it is, my friend.” She turned her gaze away form the sky and back down to Silver Quill, her expression still inscrutable. “But for some, less lovely than for others.”

Silver furrowed his brow in concentration as he met her eyes with his own. “What do you mean by that?”

Luna sighed dejectedly, and Silver felt a pang of concern in his chest. Something was troubling his royal friend and he wanted to help, but he didn't know how.

“Let me tell thee about the night, young Silver Quill.” Luna said knowingly. “The night is when all hardships, worries, thoughts, joys, and fears coalesce into one single, devastating point. This point is when ponies are at their most vulnerable. It is where every insecurity and fear, no matter how well entrenched in the heart, is laid bare under their eyes.” Luna leaned in a little closer and looked at him meaningfully. “It’s also where the most joyful of feelings reveal themselves, even if we know not of their existence.”

Silver didn’t respond to her words, not knowing how to. Luna wrapped her wing around him tighter, almost protectively. “Tell us, Silver Quill. Dost thou know of what we speak?”

Silver squinted in confusion under her. “I’m afraid not Luna.” he answered her.

She looked at him for a few seconds longer before nodding slightly and leaning back a little, letting her eyes rest on the small pond in front of them. “Dreams, young Silver Quill. I speak of dreams.”

Silver Quill nodded uncertainly, hoping he didn't look as he confused as he felt. “I see. But that doesn’t answer the question of why you’re here Luna. Not that I’m not pleased to see you of course. It’s just…you know, surprising.”

Luna smiled gently at him. “We would imagine so, Silver Quill. Thy woulds’t not be the first to be confused by my presence in their dreams since our return to Equestria.”

Silver blinked. “Oh, that makes se- wait what?”

“That’s right young Silver Quill, this,” she gestured with a hoof to their surroundings. “This is all just a dream. And tis my job as the Princess of the Night to oversee the night-visions of our subjects to make sure that discord and chaos do not worm their way into their minds.” She paused and looked at Silver Quill closely. “However, thy psyche seems to be in a good amount of turmoil at the moment. Your mind hath been haunted by the same dream for the past few nights, and we have taken it upon ourself to intervene,” her smile widened. “both as your ruler and as your friend.”

It slowly started to come back to Silver as she spoke. He remembered the same reoccurring dream that he’d been having recently, and upon closer inspection of his surroundings, he realized that he really was dreaming. The low rumble of an invisible cello intertwined with a much quieter hum of a violin filled the air, the ground was littered with white and lavender flowers, and the pond in front of him was lit up by a white light deep from within its midst, just like every dream from before.

“We see that our words ring a chord of truth in you.” Luna’s quiet voice interrupted his thoughts. He nodded mutely, still a little bit stunned by the revelation. Luna lowered her head to his level so that she could look him in the eye. Her eyes were shining with concern.

“Thou art troubled, this we can tell, and we want to help. Tell us Silver Quill, what is it that brings such disturbance to thy mind?”

“I…” He began, but didn't finish. Silver didn’t know what to say. It was true that he had been feeling rather conflicted as of late, and if he had to take a guess, he would say that this confliction probably had something to do with Twilight, but he didn’t have the foggiest idea as to why. Everything between them was great, if a little uncertain, so he had nothing to worry about.

“I don’t know Luna.” he admitted. “I’m quite happy right now. I’ve been having fun in Ponyville, and there’s nothing that I can complain about.”

“Is that so?” she asked contemplatively. “Rarely are the dreams of ponies so precise that their meaning are as clear as glass.” She looked back into the roiling pond, her expression curious. “But as the Princess of the night, we have seen many a troubled dream, so I think that I may be able to shed some light on yours.”

Silver’s ears perked in interest. “Really?”

She nodded wisely. “Indeed my friend. All of the signs are clear in what they say, and what they say, is that you are scared.”

He raised his eyebrow gave her a dubious look. “I’m scared?” he paused for a second to think about it. He certainly didn't feel scared, and to be honest, he didn't really have anything to be scared of.

“Are you sure?” he asked her suspiciously.

Luna chuckled at his doubt. “Most definitely, Silver Quill. Thou forgets, I am the product of many passing moons, and I have experienced much throughout those years.” She winked at him. “Rest assured, we know what we are talking about.”

Silver furrowed his eyebrow as he took in her words. “Alright Princess, I’ll take your word for it, but how do you figure that I’m scared of something?” He looked down at himself for a moment before looking back up at her. “I certainly don’t feel scared.”

Luna shook her head mournfully. “If all ponies knew exactly what they felt, young Silver Quill, the world would be a much simpler place. Alas, ponies are denied the luxury of being the masters of their own minds. Even Celestia and myself, the oldest and wisest of all ponies, have troubles with understanding ourselves.”

She was silent for a brief moment as she stared into the distance, her eyes focused on nothing. She quickly shook herself back to reality and addressed the unicorn next to her once again.

“But we, that is to say, you and I, are not speaking about all ponies. Nay, we are only speaking about you.” she said, putting a hint of emphasis on the last word. Luna brought herself to her full noble height, looking quite impressive amongst the backdrop of darkness, and looked down upon Silver Quill with a determined look in her eyes. This was a mare with a mission, it seemed to Silver; and from what he could tell, that mission was helping him make sense of his mind.

“What you are afraid of, young Silver Quill, is change.” She declared.

His brow furrowed further as he narrowed his eyes in confusion. “Change? Change of what?” he asked her.

“Only thou would know.” She replied simply.

“What do you mean only I would know? I barely even know what you’re talking about.” he told her honestly. The only time Silver Quill had been ‘afraid’ was when he was on those adrenaline pumping rides with Twilight, but even then he would hesitate to call that genuine fear. More like intense apprehension, or mind-numbing nervousness.

Luna took a moment to study him, looking deeply into his innocent face and eyes, her gaze strong and unwavering. Silver felt a slight chill run up and down his spine at her intense gaze, but he also felt his incorporeal body warm as Luna’s face betrayed her concern and love for him, her closest friend besides her sister.

“Something has happened to you, my friend, which has thrown off thy equilibrium.” She said seriously. “I know not its nature nor its source, but you have been introduced to something that goes against your nature.” She leaned forward a bit to help emphasize her words. “That is what scares you, Silver Quill. That which you cannot understand, predict, or prevent. Change.”

Silver Quill was left speechless for a moment. Finally, he found his voice and managed to weekly ask “Is it a good change?”

Luna’s head tilted to the side. “It matters not the nature of the change; all that matters, at least, all that matters to you, is its existence.” Luna paused for a moment to let the words sink in. “All ponies fear change, whether it be good or bad for them. You are no exception, Silver Quill.”

Silver looked back down at the pond. His reflection, distorted and rippling amongst the waving surface, looked back at him. He noticed that he suddenly looked a lot older than he normally did with wrinkles on his brow and his mouth shaping a thin frown. He sighed dejectedly.

He hated to admit it, but Luna was probably right. Now that it was brought to his attention, looking back, he could see the signs. The way he had brooded yesterday, causing Twilight to worry, the way he turned down her kiss, even though he knew that he would like nothing more than to kiss her back. Heck, even this annoying dream was starting to make a lot more sense now that he thought about it. The unidentified monster that he had been running away from every night was the change that Luna mentioned, and the clearing that he would burst into with a feeling of relief and peace was his little bubble of normality that he was reluctant to leave behind in favour of the scary and the unknown.

“What do I do?” he asked quietly, more to himself than to the mare besides him. Nevertheless, Luna slowly extended a wing and draped it across his shoulders again as she leaned her head down and lightly pressed it against his own.

“You must face the change Silver Quill. It is the only way to calm thy stormy mind.”

Silver nodded weakly, and Luna withdrew her wing from his back and sat up straight once again. He took a few moments to compose himself and looked back up at her with one of his rare smiles.

“Thank you for the help Luna. You’re a good friend.” he said honestly. Luna smiled back at him and nodded.

With that, Silver Quill shook some life and energy back into his body and stood up, a determined look in his eyes. If facing the change was what he needed to do, than so be it. He took a deep breath and turned away from Luna and started to the edge of the clearing. His eyes narrowed anxiously as he approached the line of foliage, a natural reaction to what he was about to do. Before he did anything though, he turned back around to face Luna, who was watching him closely.

“You’re modern equestrian has gotten much better Luna.” he called out to her. She bristled with pride and held her head a little higher, a smile on her face.

“Thanks!” she called back. “I’ve been practicing since I haven’t had you to talk to during my nights.” Silver nodded as he made a mental not to spend some more time with his royal friend once he went back to Canterlot. He turned back to the trees, barely illuminated in the light of the moon above. He took a deep breath, preparing to do something that his mind was screaming at him not to do. Finally, after a moment of self preparation, he bent his legs and jumped through the walls of leaves, branches, and shrubbery.

Immediately, Silver Quill could feel the effects of leaving the safety of his clearing. The gentle murmur of string instruments vanished the moment he broke through the line of foliage to be replaced by a silence so deep and profound, he could hear it in his very core. The fear came instantly, numbing the tips of his hooves as it pervaded every fibre of his being.

He stood his ground for a moment, frozen in indecision. He looked behind him, but he was unable to see Luna from where he stood. He could only see darkness behind him, no doubt the dream messing with his sense of perception.

He shook himself violently and grimaced as the rumbling noise started up once again. “It can’t hurt you. It’s just Change, not a terrible, vicious monster.” He sullenly glared at the ground for a moment. “To be honest, I’m not entirely sure which one is scarier.”

Pushing those thoughts out of his mind, Silver looked up once more and growled. He was feeling unusually angry about his current situation, probably a side effect of the fear he was feeling. This anger helped him focus on his goal and prevented his fear from overtaking him and sending back into the safety of his clearing with his tail between his legs.

He took off at a run, bounding easily over the exposed roots and plants of the forest floor. As he ran, Night slowly changed into day as the rumbling noise switched from an ominous growl into a malicious roar. Somewhere in this forest was a very angry giant who had some qualms about Silver Quill running towards it. It took an immense force of will, one that he wasn’t aware that he could muster, in order to not stop in his tracks and turn around.

It seemed to Silver Quill that his very surroundings were designed specifically to terrify his cutie mark off. Even the fact that the sun was shining now did nothing to reduce the fear inducing hold that the forest had over him. If anything, it made it worse. The light filtered through the branches and cast sinister looking shadows across the forest floor, which was barely illuminated as though it repelled the sunlight. But still he pressed on, pushing through his fear with all that he had.

He didn’t know how long he was running for; it could have been for a few minutes or a few hours and wouldn’t have mattered. Silver was somewhat pleased to discover that no matter how much he ran, he didn’t feel a hint of fatigue or soreness in his body, a result of the dream bending the laws of the world no doubt. Spurred onwards by this fact and his desperation to get away from this oppressive, haunting forest, Silver picked up speed until he was running at a full sprint, and still he didn’t feel a hint of pain in his muscles.

He was maybe a little bit too lost in his desperation, so lost that he was no longer able to think rationally or logically. If he was able, he would have realized that tearing through a dark forest with plenty of exposed roots, stones, and other obstructions was probably not the best idea. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until his hind hoof snagged on one of the aforementioned roots sending him tumbling and sprawling over the ground did he realize the error of his ways.

Silver’s focus on his running was what had prevented the crushing fear from completely overwhelming him by shoving it into the back of his mind where it was barely noticed. Now that he was curled up in a painful, dirty ball on the forest floor, he had nothing left to stop the wave of terror rapidly approaching him, eager to consume him and leave nothing but a pitiful, wretched husk behind.

His fear came down on him like a hammer to the skull. He gasped, instinctively squeezed his eyes shut in an effort to save his sanity and keep on moving forward. He was so close to his goal now, he could feel it. Whimpering and shivering, he slowly made an effort to get back on his hooves, but before he could take a single step, his legs collapsed from underneath him, sending him face first into the dirt once more.

He cried out in a mixture of pain and distress as gravity brought him back down. Seeing no other alternative, he curled in on himself, holding his hooves and tail close to his body in a last ditch effort to keep him safe. Through his trembling and his tears, he was reminded of the instances in his childhood where his overactive imagination gave him terrible and vivid nightmares that would scar him for weeks. Only the soothing words of his parents had the power to calm him when that happened, but there was no mother or father to ease his fears now.

Tears started to flow from his eyes as his moans became even more pitiful. The forest seemed to close in on him as though to crush him with its presence.

“Go away…don’t come…leave me alone…” he whimpered, his voice cracked and dry. The fear didn’t listen, however, and still continued to attack his vulnerable mind with barrage after barrage of psychological torture.

After a few minutes of this, Silver Quill was almost at his breaking point, his mind now stretched so thin that it was about to snap like a rubber band that’s been pulled too much. His front hooves were pressed so tight around his body that, if he weren’t dreaming, he would have left bruises on himself.

Before his sanity snapped and he was sent howling into a pit of indefinable terror, he heard an unintelligible voice in the distant. It softly called out from beyond the shadowy curtain of the forest, inexplicably audible even through the earthquake like roar that emanated from all sides. It was a voice that Silver Quill hadn’t heard in many years, but it was one that he instantly recognized.

His ears perked slightly, and his eyes opened by a hairs breadth at the sound of the voice, but he didn’t move, partly in disbelief but mostly because his entire body seemed to be completely unresponsive due to the impact that the mental trauma has had on him. The voice called again, slightly louder this time, but still not loud enough to be understood.

Silver’s eyes opened slightly wider, almost halfway, and he was able to move his head by a fraction of an inch so that he was facing the direction that the voice was coming from. Once more, it called out, and this time he was able to discern its words.

“Silver Quill…” it said softly. Silver’s heart skipped a beat as he suddenly broke out in a cold sweat, one that wasn’t the result of the fear. His full attention was now on the veil of darkness that the sun overhead couldn’t penetrate. Slowly, feeling returned to his body and he gritted his teeth as he gradually dragged his hooves underneath him in an effort to stand up again. So focused on the voice was Silver that he didn’t even notice the everpresent rumbling sound getting quieter as his fear slowly dissipated.

A rustle of movement caught his eye from beyond the darkness, and Silver Quill tensed nervously. Hope mixed with trepidation blossomed deep inside of him as he peered breathlessly into the darkness, his fear forgotten.

He almost gasped as light pink forehoof came out of the shadows, eventually followed by another forehoof, and then followed by the head and body of a mare of the same colour with a wavy dark purple mane and tail. She stepped out into the dim light and smiled at Silver Quill.

Silver didn’t move. He felt as though he had jumped into a lake in the middle of winter. His entire body was numb as he stared with disbelief at the newcomer, his thoughts a cacophony of conflicting emotions.

It took him several tries, but he eventually found his voice. “Why are you here?” he croaked weekly.

The mare tilted her head, as though the answer was obvious. “You called me, so I came.” she said simply. The sound of her voice made Silver tremble, as though just the sight of her was causing him physical pain.

“I didn’t…” Silver began, but was interrupted before he could finish.

“You’re heart did.” She said.

His eyes widened and started to moisten. She smiled gently to him. She looked perfect, exactly how he remembered her. Instead of being sickly and pale like the last time he saw her, she was bright with life and health, just like how he always pictured her to be in his mind. Silver almost couldn’t believe his own eyes.


“Mom…” he choked out, his voice cracking and his eyes blurring. “I missed you.”

The mares smile grew strained and her own eyes started tearing up slightly as well. “I missed you too, love.” she said, her voice rich with barely repressed emotion. She took a single step closer to where he lay.

This was the last straw for Silver Quill. His nervousness and trepidation shattered like glass at her words, and purposeful strength flooded his body. He got to his hooves and rushed towards his mother who opened her forelegs in a waiting embrace for him.

He collapsed in her arms without a sound, and she held him with as much strength as she could muster, tightly squeezing him as though he would slip away from her if she didn’t. Silver Quill could feel his breath being forced from his body, but he didn't mind. Instead, he just returned the favour by holding her just as tightly.

But Silver wasn’t going anywhere. The exact number escaped him at the moment, but it had been years since the last time he’d been held in these arms. All was silent around them as they sat on the cold forest floor, holding on to one another more tightly than they would their last bag of bits.

After a few minutes, they finally disengaged and looked at each other. Silver’s mother laughed quietly and ran a hoof through silver’s mane, brushing away a few errant strands that fell over his face.

“Look at you,” she whispered proudly. “so mature and grown up.”

Silver chuckled. “Not mature enough to not need his mother, apparently.” She clucked her tongue in disapproval and bopped him on the nose.

“Oh hush you.” she said. “No matter how mature you get, you’ll always need me, even if you don’t know it.”

Silver sighed as a weight of sadness was brought down upon him. “Yeah…you’re probably right about that.” he said quietly, unable to meet her eye. She must have sensed his sadness as she sighed quietly.

“Oh Silver…” she said sadly. “I’m so sorry.”

“S’not your fault.” he muttered. His mother looked down at him with concern for a moment before taking his head in hoof and gently moving his face upwards so she could meet his eyes.

“Now don’t you be like that, young colt. I didn’t raise you to back down when the going got tough, did I?” she asked sternly.

“No…” Silver muttered in reply.

“Right. And when life gives you lemons, what do you do?” she asked again, her eyes hard.

Silver couldn’t help but keep a little grin from showing. “You demand to see life’s manager and threaten to burn life’s house down.”

She narrowed her eyes at him, obviously not satisfied. Silver sighed.

“…with the lemons.” he finished lamely. She smiled and nodded in satisfaction.

“That’s my boy.” she said with conviction before smiling gently gave him one more squeezing hug. “I’m so proud of you.”

Silver’s grin grew wider as he returned the hug, resting his head against her neck as he did so. “Thanks mom.” he replied.

Their hug went uninterrupted for half a minute as they held each other on the dirty forest floor. As she held her son tightly, Silver felt a kind of warmth spreading through his body and mind that he hadn’t felt in many years. The indescribable feeling of being held by the pony that cared for you most in the world and who wouldn’t let harm befall you without putting life and limb on the line first. It was the powerful feeling of love wrapped in an iron hard bubble of safety that, no matter the force, could not be popped.

It was a feeling that Silver Quill, stoic, emotionless Silver Quill, dearly missed. But more than that, he missed the only mare that was capable of giving him that feeling.

He trembled as his mother gently pulled away from him, not wanting to break the embrace so soon, but obliging anyway. She held him at arms length, looking at him with sad eyes.

“You need to go now, love.” she urged gently. Silver gasped, even more emotion intruding on his normally blank face that had been showing much more in one dream than it has for the past 10 years.

“What? No! I want to stay with you!” he protested anxiously, tears threatening to break through once again. “I…don’t want you to leave again.” His voice was pitiful even to his own his ears, but his mother could only sadly smile and shake her head.

“That’s what I want too, love, but it’s not something that I can have.” she said with melancholic acceptance, her expression strained as she forced herself to ignore every maternal instinct she had that demanded she scoop up her son and carry him away from this terrible place and bring him somewhere safe and warm. She took his face in between her hooves and looked at him intently.

“This is more important than me. Right now, you need to go and confront your inner demons, but more importantly, you need to beat them. Do you understand?” Silver’s eyes widened at her words, but he nodded solemnly, unable to form a sentence of his own.

Her eyes softened as she let go of his face. “Good colt.” She said approvingly. “And don’t you go on thinking that I left you just because I died. Something like that can never convince me to leave my only boy.” She said seriously. Silver chuckled weakly.

“I know mom, I know.” he said in quiet, yet unsurprised, amusement. Trust in her not to let death get in the way between mama bear and her cub. They sat in silence for a moment before Silver spoke up again.

“I’ve been doing what you wanted me to…” he muttered uncertainly. His mother tilted her head in confusion, so he explained further.

“Making friends I mean. I’ve made a few of them over the past few days.” he explained quietly

Understanding bloomed in her eyes, and she smiled once more, warmly and proudly. “I know, love, and I’m so happy that you did.” She got a mischievous glint in her eye. “I especially like that Twilight mare, and from what I can tell, you do to.” Silver flushed with embarrassment.

“I uh…maybe.” he said uncertainly. His mother laughed and clapped him on the shoulder.

“There’s no ‘maybe’ about it, love. Trust me when it comes to this.” She tapped the side of her nose with a hoof and winked. “Momma knows best.”

Silver smiled slightly. “Yeah…momma knows best.” he said quietly. She smiled and they looked at each other for a few more moments before expression turned from one of motherly love into sad acceptance.

“Silver…” she began sadly, but was cut off before she could finish.

“I know mom.” Silver said abruptly. He gave a shuddering sigh and looked down, unable to look at the face of the mare that he hadn’t seen in years, yet will still have to walk away from. “I know…”

He felt a hoof gently hold him by the back of the neck as his mother leaned forward and planted a single, gentle kiss right under his horn, just like she would do when he was a colt. His limbs tensed in an effort to not wrap his arms around her once more.

“I love you…” he heard her whisper. He looked up again to respond, to tell her that he loved her too and to beg her to stay, but when he looked, she was gone. Just like those years ago, he was left alone to nurse his own pain and aches by himself with nary a shoulder to lean on.

Silver took a moment to sit in silence. He felt weak now, his limbs barely reacting to the signals that the brain was sending their way. He collapsed onto his stomach, his body drained of energy. As the cruel reality of having his mother whisked away from him for the second time in his life came down upon him, he didn’t think he could muster the strength to take one more step.

He might as well just stay here until the dream ends, he figured as he closed his eyes. Goddess knows he had a snowballs chance in hell to even stand up in the condition he was in, much less keep on moving. It was a lost cause. He was a lost cause. The ‘inner demons’ as his mother had put it had knocked him down, and he wasn’t about to get up again.

And then he heard it.

The angry, groaning, rumbling noise started back up again. It was quiet, but it was slowly getting louder and more oppressive as the seconds went by. It came out through the gaps in the trees from the darkness beyond, shaking the ground ever so slightly with its anger.

Silver’s eyes opened in surprise and he wearily looked towards the direction that the sound was coming from, the direction that he had been running to mere moments before. He couldn’t see what was making the sound, he couldn’t see whether it was big or small, whether or not it had fangs or claws, whether it had had the wings or the eyes of a demon, but it didn’t matter to him.

His eyes narrowed in irritation. It was all because of that stupid noise and whatever it was that was making it did his mother have to leave. If it weren’t for it, she could still be here, holding him and telling him that everything was going to be alright. He didn’t even feel afraid anymore. Now he was just annoyed. Really annoyed.

In fact, he could almost say that he was angry. He clenched his teeth as his eyes narrowed further, a low growl emitting from his throat. It’s been so many years since he’s seen his mother as a colt, since she died from a debilitating, incurable disease that took her away from him, and it was all the fault of whatever damned creature that was making that noise that he couldn't see her for more than a few minutes. Silver felt a trickle of energy pour into his body, a trickle that slowly grew into a downright waterfall as he went from irritated, to angry, to downright furious.

How DARE it take her away from him?! Silver slowly got to his hooves, his anger bubbling into a frothing sea of emotion that almost took control of his entire mind and body. He slowly turned towards the direction the ominous rumbling was coming from, and he glared.

It thought that he was afraid of it? It thought that he was just going to lie down and let it step all over him like that? Well, it had another thing coming.

“I wanna speak to your manager.” Silver growled, his eyes promising death to whatever it was that took her away from him for the second time.

He took off, all fear and trepidation forgotten as he thundered across the ground. His eyes were alight with the fire of purpose as he approached the source of anger, relishing the thought of his hooves wrapping around the throat of whatever was responsible for it. He was about to teach a very unfortunate something a very painful lesson.

There is nothing more dangerous than a stallion who has nothing to lose.

Silver couldn’t have been running for more than a few minutes. He nimbly evaded fallen trees and large branches as he ran, so focused on his goal that he barely even registered their existence. His anger fueled him with so much energy that he felt as though he was liable to burst if he didn’t run fast enough, but he kept himself from moving too fast, lest he repeat the same mistake that he had made before.

Eventually, he came upon a wall of darkness and foliage that obscured everything behind it, much like the clearing that he had left Luna behind in before. He briefly worried that he had been running in the wrong direction, but the sun that was high in the sky assured him that he wasn’t. His clearing could only be found at night, he knew.

So he gritted his teeth and leaped through the wall. The angry roaring in his ears had reached its highest level and threatened to burst his eardrums as he ran, but as soon as he passed through the tree line, it stopped completely, nearly disorienting him with the newfound silence.

Silver panted as he looked around, his eyes quickly jumping from one place to the next, desperately searching for whatever it was that had been tormenting him for so long so that he may kick its teeth out.

He couldn’t see anything that looked as though it deserved to have its face flattened, however, so he examined his surroundings. Silver’s anger slowly dissipated as he looked around and realized where he was.

Strangely enough, it was his clearing. Everything was exactly where it was when he left it. The pond was still in the middle, the willow tree standing over it and the wildflowers standing guard all around, just like before, the whites and lavenders contrasting sharply against the bright green grass on which they lay on. The only difference was that instead of the moon being directly over his head, the sun shone down upon him in its place.

Silver hesitantly walked forward, and as he did so, he became aware of several strange sensations. He smelt the smell of ozone in the air, felt the warmth of a hearthfire on his fur, tasted the sharp tang of a well made jasmine tea, and above it all, he heard a strange music float through the air.

The music was what got his attention the most. He could identify two instruments, the violin and cello, playing together in a somber, yet somewhat hopeful, duet. The two instruments, played by invisible hooves on invisible strings, complimented each other nicely. Silver paused to listen to it for a moment, appreciating the soft tones of the instruments as the two of them danced together in perfect harmony, rising and falling in tune with the other.

Silver took a deep breath as he listened to the pleasant tones of the instruments. He felt his earlier stress and anger ebb away completely as he was lulled into a pleasant calmness by the music. He waited a few more moments before shaking his head and continuing his walking towards the pond in the center of the clearing. As relaxing the music was, he had a job to do. Granted, he didn’t know exactly what exactly that job was, but he certainly wasn’t going to find out by just sitting there.

He approached the pond hesitantly, all the other instances of it pulling him into its depths in his previous dreams springing forth in his mind and making him cautious. As he got near the surface, he noticed something off about it.

He had been expecting the pond to be illuminated from its depths by a dull white light just like it had before. Instead, a bright lavender light made the surface shine a pale violet hue. He stopped, for a moment, confused at the small differences. He knew that he was in no actual danger, but he still couldn’t help casting a worried glance at the surface of the water.

He eventually made his way to the edge and peeked into the water, that unlike before, was still instead of toiling. He stared uncertainly at it for a moment, expecting to be overcome by an overpowering urge to plunge face first into its depths just like all those times before, but it never came.

Confused, he slowly brought his hoof closer to the surface of the pond. He was mere inches away from it before he suddenly stopped, overcome by a feeling of apprehension and nervousness. He couldn’t force his hoof any closer to the surface.

He paused in his efforts to test the waters, looking back and forth from his outstretched hoof to the gently undulating surface before him. The gears and cogs in his brain started to spin, slowly granting him understanding.

“Nopony gets dragged into change if they don’t want to.” he realized as he pondered the conspicuous lack of an urge to fall into the watery depths. He looked at the lavender light critically. “They have to submit themselves to it, let it take them without resistance…” he gulped slightly, suddenly fearful of the innocuous lavender light. “no matter how scary that change might be.”

Silver Quill sighed and looked at the pond wearily, giving the matter some thought before nodding decisively to himself. He turned around and walked a few paces in the opposite direction before stopping and facing it again.

He took a moment to brace himself, squaring his shoulders and stiffening his legs before he took off at a run. Right before he fell reached the edge of the pond and was sent crashing and splashing into its midst, he bent his legs and jumped as high and as far as he could, sailing over the surface of the water for a few seconds before coming back down with a huge splash.

The water was freezing cold. It stung Silver Quill like millions of little needles made of ice poking him from all sides. Immediately, he could feel himself being pulled down, just like in every other dream. The only difference was that this time, he didn’t have an expression of calm peace or of unmitigated terror. This time, he was emotionless, his face set into an expression of acceptance as he faced the change for all that it was worth.