• Published 18th Jan 2013
  • 1,121 Views, 36 Comments

Ponyville Bouquet - Cascadejackal



Experimental technology, repairs made under fire and a less-than-focused mare hitting the big red button. What could go wrong? Join the cast of Wasteland Bouquet as they find themselves, quite literally, living in the past.

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Extra #1 - THEY CAME FROM THE EVERFREE FOREST

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Please, for the love of Luna, don't take this chapter seriously!
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Good evening, gentle reader.

Tonight, we have for you a spine-tingling tale of terror, of ancient magics and unspeakable horror, a tale that, when spoken of by those who bore witness, is described by six nightmarish words:

They came from the Everfree Forest.


Our story begins, not in the small town of Ponyville, a place all-too-often beset by strangeness and mystery, but on a small path, some distance from it. A path rarely taken by the innocent citizens of Ponyville, for it lead away from their comforting lives and happy existence, leading only a dark place of twisted roots, ancient trees and creatures that haunt the night with their cries.

Nor does our tale begin with an innocent, one born beneath the sun, whose days were filled with laughter and joy. Rather, we follow a mare of somewhat darker origins, a creature for whom the dreadful forest held no fear.

Her name, even now, sends some of the more... delicate ponies of Ponyville running in fear, or causes them to huddle together in the middle of the street, crying "The horror! The horror!"

What is this name, this incantation that can freeze the blood? Two small words, dear reader, that apart are quite harmless, and together unspeakable.

Whiskey. Rose.


It had been an average morning, peaceful even by the normal standards of Ponyville. There had been no ancient gods announcing their return, no eldritch guardians of the underworld digging up lawns and nary a peep from the disaster-prone library. The sole disturbance had been a rather miniscule monstrosity, unleashed by an unwary unicorn filly who had only wanted to make toast, and that had been dealt with by a seamstress with a rubbish bin.

So it was, with nothing too do, our hero, or, perhaps more fittingly, our villain, found herself wandering along that lonely path. She had no destination in mind, simply walking for the sake of it. It was something she often did, and her path often lead, as it did now, into the untameable wilderness of the Everfree Forest.

Her hooves beat a slow, gentle rhythm on the verdant earth, Celestia's sun gracing the world with a warming glow, and the mare began to hum. It was a meaningless tune, meandering from note to note with no purpose beyond passing time, snippets of songs slipping serenely and smoothly together as she admired the brilliant blue sky, with so few clouds she could scarcely believe it. It was a paradise, one she savored with every breath and step, blissfully unaware of what her journey would unleash.

In time, she found her way from beneath Celestia's gaze, her hooves carrying her into the cool shade cast by the wild trees of the forest, her pale form swiftly swallowed by darkness and distance, the bushes, trees and vines seeming to swallow her whole. Of course, this was quite normal for the Everfree Forest, its unbridled life and strange, unfathomable consciousness welcoming all into its depths, and it could hardly be blamed for those who went missing or fell victim to the other dwellers in what could be called the cradle of life.


The mare felt at home as she walked, every step revealing more of the wonders of nature, from skittering insects to animals both fluffy and fanged. Her lungs filled with ancient air, body drinking in the strange, foreign, ancient magic that only a place so timeless and alive could possess, and she closed her eyes to better savor the wonderous swirl of impossible sensations surrounding her. In days to come, when the nightmare was over, she would admit that perhaps closing her eyes, while wandering aimlessly through an uncharted forest, was not the best of ideas.

Indeed, some other pony, less aware or of more peaceful and gentle a nature, may have met their end at the mandibles of a manticore, or the teeth of a timberwolf. Such a thing would not befall the mare, however, as several coincidences met at that precise moment.

With her eyes closed, she was unable to see a root in her path, raised and ready to catch her hoof.

When she tripped, she opened her eyes to find herself precariously perched on the edge of a small cliff.

Recent rains had weakened the soil she sat on, her sudden weight causing it to collapse, spilling her unharmed into the field at its base.

A large rock lay beside a hole in the field, a hole left exposed by a certain purple pony cursed by curiousity, and it was this hole that the rolling, bouncing mare shot into like an out-of-control ball of curses, scarred hide and leather duster.

Within the hole a smooth, slide-like passage ferried the mare deep into the earth, sending her flying into a conveniently placed pool of mirror-still water.

The mare struggled, not used to swimming, until she reached the edge of the small pool. Panting and exhausted, she lay in the shallows, resting her head on a cool stone to catch her breath. Her recent exertions had tired her out, however, and there, in the cool water and still air, she quickly fell asleep.

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At this point, my dear reader, I'm sure you have guessed where our unlucky mare has found herself, and where she has fallen asleep.

"But," I hear you say, "she didn't speak the ryhme!"

Indeed, she did not, and that is what makes this a tale, not of comedy, but of terror. You see, the ryhme is little more than a spell, to focus the mind of those who would use the ancient pool and give purpose to the creations of that mysterious place. Without guidance or purpose, those born from the wellspring are creatures of the id, beings of uncontrolled desire, and their existence spells disaster for those caught before that tide of want and need.

"She fell asleep in the pool. You have to go all the way in or it doesn't work!"

This, too, is true. Had she merely fallen into the restful, peaceful sleep, our story would end with her waking up and going home. Unfortunately, for both her and the town she called home, her dreams were uncertain, causing her to roll about as she slept, submering completely before emerging, still lost within Luna's realm, on the far side of the pool, carried there by the unknowable power that lay within the oft-forgotten waters.

There she lay upon the shore, but she was no longer alone. Beside her was the first but, sadly, not the last, image given life by the mystical place. Pale of coat and crimson of mane, the newborn lacked only the aged leather worn by the original, and its sudden existence played havoc with the dreams of its empathic progenitor. This distress was echoed by the copy, and soon two sleeping mares were rolling and thrashing, chance and fate sending first one, then the other once more into the pool. Two became four, four became eight, more and more pale pretenders given life until the mental maelstrom reached critical mass, and the pool's creations woke as one. Their steely-blue eyes met in the almost-darkness, sharing awareness without sapience, true creatures of the id.

Hungry.

As one, they stood, over a dozen pale mares enthralled by the need to fill the most pressing of their needs, desiring only the fullness of their bellies. The sea of white and red filed silently from the hidden grotto, until there was only the original, still sleeping, dreaming she was lost in a maze of mirrors.

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There was no warning. The horde descended upon Ponyville, a sea of silence set on sating their shared hunger. Pleas to stop were ignored in favor of produce, pies and pleasant-tasting potted plants. All that was edible was quickly lost to a plague second only to the last incursion of parasprites, and the ponies of Ponyville retreated to the town hall, over-reacting and panicking as they so often did. Voices called for the resident librarian, the same purple unicorn who had, only the day before, been researching the source of what was, in hushed tones, called the Pink Plague, to do something, and do something she did.

The studious mare, her deductive skills sharpened by several late nights with Fetlock Holmes novels, deduced that the original must surely be somewhere else, as all the pale palate pirates were uncharactaristically naked. With this certainty in mind, she teleported to the roof of the town hall, picking her first target almost at random.

A spell sparked, a false mare was banished, and the remaining eyes focused, unblinking, on the purple unicorn with the glowing horn who had just destroyed one of their number. A deep fear wound its way through her, and she swallowed nervously before teleporting back into the hall, shrieking for everyone to barricade the windows and doors. Her screams were in vain, however, as the citizens of Ponyville had already sealed every possible entrance and exit, their mob hysteria so well-practiced that, in the event of any emergency at all, they could turn any building into an impenetrable bunker within minutes.

Danger.

Their hunger forgotten in lieu of an apparent threat, the living falsehoods surrounded the town hall, beating their hooves against walls, doors and windows, their non-existent minds now focused solely on the purple mare, determined to prevent her from harming more of their number. Said mare was firing spell after spell through gaps in the barricade, even as the unrelenting horde broke through, spilling into the hall.

Fortunately for the seemingly doomed librarian, one of the id-driven creatures spotted a certain grey griffin, and a new desire, one that would only subside when fully sated, bloomed. A dozen mares converged on the luckless, or, perhaps, lucky, griffin, until only a lone claw could be seen, sticking up through the writhing sea of bodies, the citizens of Ponyville looking on in horror as even that vanished, covered by desire-filled bodies. They looked on in horror, unable to tear their eyes away from the scene before them as minutes stretched into hours.

The screams and moans would haunt the dreams of all present for years to come, the clones sating their needs and desires with the griffin, not even noticing when, after several hours of gazing at the scene before her in morbid fascination, the librarian, their former foe, began casting her spell once more, banishing the writhing, sweating, moaning horde one by one.

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While most residents of Ponyville began the all-too-familiar process of rebuilding their town after the sudden disaster, pleasantly suprised that there was little actual property damage for once, a certain plum-coated teacher was was explaing the facts of life to some very confused children. A small group prepared to journey into the Everfree Forest in search of the source of the clones, and the mare who had unwittingly given them life, among them only one member of the pale mare's family. The other two, a young filly and a certain griffin, were in the hospital. The griffin, because of exhaustion. The filly, because she wanted to laugh at him some more.

The mare herself, the one who had unknowingly destroyed the innocence of an entire town, stretched, refreshed from her sleep, and set about trying to find some way out of the cave she had spent the last few hours sleeping in. She looked forward to curling up with her favorite griffin, and telling him all about the wonderful dream she'd had.

Author's Note:

Since I'm having a bit of trouble writing the proper Ponyville Bouquet chapter, here's something to tide you over. Enjoy!