A Little Weird
IC date: Winter 53
OOC date: February 10
Location: Portside
PCs: Dream-Daze Magpie Tale-Chaser Makuru Midnight-Sun Spearmint Page

It's snowing! A snowing, chillyish, winter's day out on the Boardwalk! What foal could ever possibly resist being outside in the snow?

Certainly not a certain little blue filly. Dream-Daze is lurking down the boardwalk, watching the snow fall. All by her lonesome. She wrinkles her nose every time a snowflake lands on it, unable to hide the pure foalish glee that seems to come with the mere presence of falling water.

If it weren't for those bursts of foalishness, one might think there was something else up! Because Dreamy's been pacing in front of the same shop window for a good hour at least, whispering to nobody in particular when she isn't being totally distracted by snowflakes.

With fresh snow sticking to her knit cap's bobble (bobble bobble bobble), Magpie herds Tale Chaser down the street. She pauses, suddenly drags him into an alleyway. "Look! Over there," she hisses, pointing at Dreamy with her nose.

Tale Chaser squints. "I don't see anything," he says, reaching up to rub his face, then adjust his glasses and squint more squintishly. He leans out from the alleyway, looking towards the water, towards the waterfront, and towards the filly pacing about thereupon, before ducking back and looking at Magpie with an expression of mild befuddlement. "Wait, you mean Dream Daze…? What… what about her?"

Midnight-Sun's red scarf is trailing behind him and so is Sophie's as he wings along through the snow, clearly intent on his own business. A sudden flurry coats his glasses, blinding him and reminding any foals in the vicinity why flying in the snow is strictly discouraged! It hardly needs the collision with the lamp post to make the point. Midnight Sun ends up hanging in the air, dazed, cleaning his glasses and having a look around the stree to reorient himself. The spider on his back seems to find this situation hilarious, if the way she's pointing and shaking is any indication.

Page's hat is more of the 'ushanka' variety, although most ushanka aren't orange. "I wonder what she's waiting for? Or… talking to?" She wrinkles her nose, exhibiting some confusion.

Magpie huffs. "Well, she's— I mean, there's something— weird. That's it. She's weird now. Maybe. Something's weird. I mean, that's… what I mean. Talkin'…" She straightens her scarf, and slowly walks across the street. "Hey, Dreamy," she says casually.

Makuru 's own candy-cane striped scarf, courtesy of a certain Petticoat, is wrapped around the zebra colt's neck and billowing out behind him as he races through the streets of the harbor at ludicrous speed. "Wheeeeee!" he shouts from atop his sled, a large retort strapped to it behind him and blasting out a massive get of rainbow-colored confetti. "HiDreamybyeDreamy!" he shouts as he *zooms* past the little blue filly.

Seconds later there is a scream of "ACK NO I CAN'T TURN!" followed by a loud *WUMPH* of toboggan hitting snow and a more muffled *wumph* of an awning discharging its powdery load.

Magpie yelps and dive-rolls sideways, fetching up against the storefront by Dreamy, upside down, dusted with confetti.

Tale Chaser, bundled up in some manner of winter attire himself, watches Magpie with a flat expression. She's off to confront Dreamy before he can offer a rebuttal, however, and so shrugs, tightens his attire, offers Page a concerned sort of look, and hastens to join Magpie out on the street. Y'know, after the plentiful sounds of explosions and collisions die down, and only after adopting a suitably skittish demeanor, constantly checking back over his shoulder.

Talkin' indeed! Moments ago this boardwalk felt practically empty. But that's the thing about small towns. You never know when everybody's going to just show up.

"I'm warning you, little miss nosybutt." Dreamy mutters. To the window. "You keep this up and I'm gonna hafta start takin'EE snowflake!..drastic measures. Dra. Sti. Kah. So just—" ZOOM! WHA! The little unicorn's ears quirk in different directions, catching one collision, Magpie's initial greeting, and then Makuru coming out of nowhere and blasting by! "Gh..!" she squeaks, leaping aside and, conveniently, pressing herself against the window too, next to where Magpie ended up crashed against the storefront. "…ah… Hi! Uhm. Bye?" Amber eyes look awful confused. Suddenly ponies /everywhere/. "U..uh what are..you guys doin' out here?" She looks up. "I..in the snow?" Blink! Blink! Genuine smile?

Page manages quite the leap given her customary load in her saddlebags: a confusing series of events in response to the sudden arrival of Makuru has her ending up vaulted over somepony's fence.

Midnight-Sun is rapidly oriented to a colorful streak shooting down the street below! It is marking the pristinesque snowscape up quite dramatically. A yell and a couple of 'wumph' noises make him spin in the air, and he tucks in his wings in order to zip down to confront the pile of snow entombing Makuru. "Hey, are you okay in there?" he calls nervously, starting to dig.

A double-high pile of snow against the side of a nearby building now sports several interesting things coming out of it. The back end of an upturned sled, for one. A still-shooting geyser of confetti for another. And a couple of striped limbs at awkward angles, wiggling helplessly. "Mmffrfnnmrrm!" a muffled voice that is probably Makuru's rumbles from the depths of the pile.

Dreamy rubs her cheek with a hoof, ears tipped backwards. But then 'friendship' manners kick in and she first offers a hoof to Magpie to see about helping her up! "M..maybe we oughtta go help Makuru out and see if he's alright. That looked like a nasty ah snowflake!! …uh. Crash." Blink. "…and a whole lotta snowflakes."

Magpie stares at Dreamy and doesn't quite jerk her hoof back. She dusts herself off. "So…. uh… Hi. You… uh… talk now, huh?" She coughs. "How'd that happen? I mean I … heard. But. Um."

Page, getting back around the fence, stops in her tracks. "Wait, you can talk now? That's great!"

Midnight-Sun can clearly see that what's needed is a hoof up. Or two, pulling hard on those wiggling zebralegs. Pull! Oh. Huh, that didn't work. Okay, fine. Midnight lets go, hops up off the street and sweeps his wings forward /hard/. Twice, three times. Flurries of snow whip off the top of the drift until it's only half its original size. Suddenly, colt extraction is a lot simpler! Heave!

Spearmint is a foal who is not particularly overfond of snow. Snow is… cold. And wet. And it /muffles/ everything. It makes hoofsteps crunch instead of click - or worse, if it's super-powdery, it makes them /puff/. You can't hear a puff. Not very well. Not with earmuffed ears, definitely! And sometimes ears need earmuffs. Like when it's cold. Like in the snow. It's a travesty, it truly is.

Thus the little green colt is trumphing along, picking up his hooves and placing them down with slight exaggeration as he makes his way through the snow, neck bescarved and ears unmuffed. And cold. Very cold ears. One might, then, hopefully forgive him for missing the commotion at first - it's all just more snowy crunching.

Tale-Chaser rolls his shoulders slightly as he watches Dreamy from over Magpie's shoulder, safely protected from the one by the other. "Congratulations?" he says. "I mean, uh, on… on talking, that is. I don't know if, erm, you were… you were practicing and now you know how to do it, or something, but… but it's nice. Your voice, that is. And your talking. You do it pretty… pretty well."

So awkward! Such attention sudden placed on the whole fact that she's talking, and it's…not giving Dreamy the vibe she expected. This seems to be a common thing. Which might be why after she helps Magpie up, she nods her head to the other foals, with a smile towards Page for the more energetic congrats. "Well… Thanks. I think. It uh.. Happened around Nightmare Night. Had a nightmare so scary I found my voice in it." Sheepish smile! She breaks into a quick trot to scamper towards the Makucrash, to help the zeeba get back on his hooves too. "H..hey! Makuru! You alright in there?" Oh, Midnight's got him pretty well handled. Well okay then!
Those wiggling zebra legs are pretty well stuck in the pile of snow! Pulling on them only earns Midnight a few more muffled "Mmf!"s. Blowing away the powdering top half of the pile /does/ make the job much simper, though, revealing the right half of the alchemist-in-training. "Brr! Oh, M-Mister Sun, h-hi there!" he says cheerfully and with only a little bit of shivering. "Th-thanks for the h-help!" Once he's dragged out of the drift he shakes vigorously, trying to dislodge the snow still caked into his dreadlocks and scarf. "Nah, I'm g-good, D-Dreamy," he says with a shaky smile.

The confetti geyser next to him finally starts sputtering out with a noise like a sad balloon.

Magpie trails after Dreamy. "You're… uh.. enjoyin' the snow, huh?" She pauses, then adds, as casually as she can, "By the way, Ruby says, thanks for that big long scarf you gave her… y'know, last winter. It's really warm."

Midnight-Sun, brushing Makuru's scarf off with a hoof, beams towards the approaching foals. "No need, young filly, we've got it handled. But thank you very much for the offer to help!" Back towards the colt, brushie-brushie-double-takie. "Wait, what?" He turns his head the other way again while a curious spider climbs up his mane to see what all the fuss is about. "Dream Daze?! Since when do you, uh… I mean, I'm glad to see you're not as shy as you used to be!" Because that explains it.

Tale-Chaser adopts a thoughtful demeanor as he tags along after Magpie who is tagging along after Dreamy, gaze drifting down the street. "Mmmm, scared into, erm- scared into being able to talk…?" he wonders. "Surely there's some kind of precedent for… for the opposite… for traumatic responses effectively, er… creating muteness… but the opposite?" He squints and reaches up to rub his head, before turning towards Page. "Have you ever heard of such a thing?" BRAIN TRUST ACTIVATE

Page thinks about this for a minute. "Hmm. Maybe? Psychology isn't exactly my strong suit." She brightens. "Though I DID notice that the library has a somewhat dogeared copy of Why Whe Whine, Whimper, Wiggle and Wander Whimsically by Lofty Words. Maybe that could suggest something?"

Tale-Chaser's demeanor takes a turn for the sunny. "Oh! Okay! We can definitely find answers in the library." He smiles brightly at Magpie. "Maggie! We get to go to the library!"

Dreamy beams at Makuru, going momentarily cross-eyed as yet another snowflake lands on her nose. "Ee~" she squeaks, until she realizes it's really a stray piece of yellowish-white confetti so rudely imitating the real thing. "…aw. Not a snowflake." she pouts. Her ears swivel, perking towards Midnight. "Mm? Thank you! Is it really that weird?" This spoken as her cheeks flush, peeking from Midnight to Tale Chaser and Page. She shakes her head though, stepping in a couple bigger piles of snow as an excuse to turn to Maggie. Whom she stares at, blankly. "Yup! Snow's fun. Uh." More blank look, her eyes losing focus for a second, as though staring off into the distance. Then they widen, and she bounces past the foals back to the window, scooting herself up in front of it. "W..well tell Ruby thanks for me back then..? I..isn't that what gifts are for?" Is that the faint reflection of a dainty blue filly hoof waving just above Dreamy's horn?

It's the confetti noise that get Spearmint's attention; his ears perk and he turns slightly towards the sound. That's not a snow sound! Well, he doesn't think it is. He hesitates a moment, stifling a small yawn, before edging towards the sounds slowly. "Uh… what's going on?"

Magpie hesitates. TC might be excited about libraries, but she's not so sangine and— She hesitates. Peers at the glass… then averts her face while watching carefully from the corner of her eye…

Makuru rolls his eyes and "pbhtbbptbt"s at Midnight's apparent surprise that Dreamy can talk. "She's been talking for months and months, Mister Sun!" he says with significantly less stuttering now that he's less snowy and cold. Tale Chaser's thoughts regarding fear-induced changes in a pony makes the zebra pause to think. "One time, I got so scared there was a monster in the tub that I couldn't go in the bathroom for a whole week. Does that count?" Perhaps there is a reason he is not part of the intellectual brain trust. "Oh, hey! Speaking of gifts, that reminds me!" He proceeds to turn around and begin rooting through the snow drift he crashed into.

Page just blinks. The question 'where did you go, then?' is just hovering in the back of her mind but, well, she IS in fact a rural pony, even if she doesn't like to think too hard about it. Instead she just shrugs. "Well, the how of it isn't really that important right now, I suppose."

Dreamy scoots sideways, carefully and with great purpose. Like she were trying to invent a new game. Or not step on sidewalk cracks. Or…something to that effect.

Except when Dreamy scoots past the edge of the window, her reflection doesn't completely follow. The faintest amber-eyed filly face lingers behind, with a hoof pressed against the window like an afterimage. It takes a second for Dreamy to realize this, peeking back at the window, spotting the…leftover reflection, and oh so casually scooting back in /front/ of the window to adopt the same pose! "..uh. Yeah! Who cares how? I've been talking for months now! It's totally not weird any…more." She has to keep adjusting her pose. She's balanced on one hoof now. Then spins around. Kicks some snow. Does a headstand. "…I'm…perfectly normal now…" she mumbles.

Spearmint lays his ears back slightly as the conversation goes on around him. They're familiar voices, at least… well, sort of. Okay, one of them's real familiar, and the rest are sorta familiar. And none of them, apparently, are in an explanatory mood. He scuffs a hoof in the snow and twitches his ears at the resulting noise. Darn snow. Darn puff. He wants a nap, but his mom made him go out and play instead. Hmph.

Tale-Chaser watches Dreamy's increasingly acrobatic antics with a flat expression. He looks up the street, down the street, back to the filly with a furrowed brow, and opens his mouth… "Uh… Dream Daze? Do you, uh, have like… an itch on your back you can't reach or something…?" He is, of course, entirely heedless of any reflection-based antics occurring behind the filly, because really, it's easy to overlook backround details when somepony is doing hoofstands around you.

SUDDENLY! Spearmint finds a sudden, additional weight atop his back with the sound of clinking glass. Makuru has put his saddlebags atop the blind colt's back, which is a little weird considering that Spearmint was /already/ wearing saddlebags. Now he has doublebags. "Minty, hold this for me," the zebra says as he begins rooting through the snow-dusted bag.

Midnight-Sun blushes. Clearly, he's behind on local news. "Oh, uh, that's great, I guess I just haven't seen her since," he says vaguely. "I should maybe get out of the library more often, but that's where all the coffee is, so." As he talks, his gaze rises to follow Dream Daze in her… contortions. Well, what does he know about fillies? It's not like he's ever been one! This could be perfectly normal behavior! Maybe they all have detaching reflections! Best to ask an expert before he embarrasses himself more. "Uhh, Makuru? Is Chase Your Reflection a game all the foals are playing these days?" Because he'd know, right?

Page blinks a little at Dreamy, then to Magpie and TC, although the latter is more of a 'we should probably have a code so we can make secret messages by blinking' sort of blink.

Magpie slowly turns around with a studiously flat expression. "YEAH! We should go hit the library for sure!" she says with a shiver, trying not to shriek and flee.

Okay, now THAT is weird- Magpie actually wants to go to the library, -for sure.- Tale Chaser looks at her with wide eyes and an open mouth, then snaps it shut, looking to Page with alarm. When he trots close to fall in beside Magpie, it's with noticable trepidation, and more than a few worried glances back over his shoulder at the others.

Page waves to everypony else. "Well, I guess we're going to the library now? I'll see you all later. Nice to hear from you, Dreamy."

Eeep! Spearmint gives a startled little yelp. He'd probably have jumped a bit, too, but… well, he's got two saddlebags slung on his back now. That makes jumping tricky. "Wah! Uh… wha… er, okay. …Hi, Makuru?" There is a mostly unspoken question in that greeting. It is 'what am I holding and why'. That is the question.

Huff, huff! Dreamy glares over her shoulder.

Her reflection sticks its tongue out.

Dreamy's horn lights up. Another 'something' appears in the window. Just as faint as the other reflection. It's a sort of..inky black thing, vaguely dog-shaped. With solid red eyes. It turns to the reflection of Dreamy. Which looks back up at the reflection-dog, smiles sheepishly, and creeps sideways until it disappears off the window, out of sight. The shadowy dog-shape leaps off after!

This leaves Dreamy without a reflection, a glowing horn, staring at the backs of fleeing foals. "…Yeah. Nice talking with you guys too! Um.. Come by sometime!" Her ears splay. "I still like to play with my friends, y'know…!" Well at least Makuru and Spearmint are still here!

Tale-Chaser pauses as he follows Magpie in her hurried flight, looking back towards Dreamy, having missed the various reflection antics occurring thusly. Dreamy still wants to see friends? Well! The seapony briefly considers inviting her along to the library, but- something tells him Magpie wouldn't like that much at all. Which is too bad… because the library is for everypony. He offers the unmute filly a sheepish wave over his shoulder before hastening to catch up with Maggie and page.

Just as Tale Chaser looks back, something crosses his glasses. A…reflection? Of Dreamy? It's so small! And it's like it's walking just on the edge of his glasses! It's running, too, trot, trot, trot, as though those glasses had a horizon on them. Until she trips, stumbles, falls, rolls… She gets up, dusting herself off for a second, squints back at what she tripped on.

A speck of dust on Chaser's glasses! So dirty.

The reflection-of-Dreamy trots back, kicks the dust speck, which promptly falls off the glasses. She nods her head in satisfaction, waves at Chaser, and goes back to running. Good thing too, because this HUGE 'shadow' promptly crosses past Chaser's glasses, after the filly-reflection!

The real Dreamy, meanwhile, scuffs a hoof and waves, almost at the same time as her reflection, at Chaser. "See you guys!" …Then she scuffs a hoof and trots towards Makuru and Spearmint. "Hey! What /was/ that thing you were riding, Maku? And hi Spearmint! I…haven't seen you around lately! What's up?"

Tale-Chaser, distracted by the show in his glasses, actually runs into a lamp post at some point. The sound of it echoes down the street, back to the waterfront scene across the distance, slightly muffled by the insulation of the snow. *Clang!* "O-ow… uh…"

Midnight-Sun's question was apparently not asked with enough vim to get Makuru to abandon his search for whatever present he's after, and so he's stuck smiling awkwardly at Dream Daze when she approaches her friends. Urgh, he never knows how to talk to foals. Well, he does know /one/ thing worth saying. "Library's closed right now, actually!" he shouts after the retreating trio. Then more awkward smiling ensues. "That was really neat," he attempts. "Umm, the trick with the window. How did you do that?"

"Trick with the…" Dreamy blinks up at Midnight with yet another blank look. One that turns right quick into a nervous smile. "W..well it's part of the story! Yeah! S..see I'm.. Um.." She taps her chin, glancing towards the nearest window. "Um… Being haunted. By a ghost!" Her eyes widen and she turns back to Midnight. "It tried to possess my reflection!" she says, lifting her forehooves up dramatically, "So I have to chase it off!"

Speaking of reflections. The Reflection of Dreamy has apparently made it to Midnight's glasses, the faint afterimage of the filly's head poking up in Midnight's field of view. She waves a hoof! …and then a slightly darker afterimage pops up behind her, red eyes peering down at the filly-reflection. A great big maw of sharp white teeth opens up! The filly reflection looks up! Her ears flatten, she waves sadly 'bye-bye' to Midnight, and then… *chomp!* Both reflections vanish in a swirl of shadow. Poof!

The glow fades from Dreamy's horn, the spell complete. "O..oh good. That'll keep it away for a couple days at least… I'm still working on..it." Sheepish grin.

Midnight-Sun looks spooked, going so far as to shy with back-tilting ears. He clears his throat as he settles back down, flicking his half-mantled wings back into neatness and throwing the dangling end of his scarf unnecessarily over his shoulder. He looks suitably impressed. "That's a really complex spell for a filly! Good job." A thoughtful pause, during which a brown cephalothorax creeps into view past his mane. "But it looks like the ghost catches your reflection in the end. Don't you think that's a very sad ending to the story?" He smiles an I-hope-I-pass-for-somepony-who-can-talk-to-foals-and-why-isn't-my-interpreter-saying-anything-aaargh kind of smile.

Magpie leads a dazed and mildly concussed Tale Chaser away after his unfortunate incident with the lamppost. "Okay, this is going to sound *crazy*," she says quietly in his ear, "But that is NOT Dream Daze. I think it's a changeling. Or a double ganger. Or something."

"Doppleganger," corrects Tale Chaser, squinting at his glasses as he holds them an inch away from his face, checking them for damage post-lamppost.
Tale-Chaser blinks up at Magpie. "Wait, I mean, what?"

Dreamy tightens her smile a little. Friends running away, adult looking at her like she's grown two heads… This day isn't ending so well, nope. She scuffs a hoof in the snow again, kicking a few flakes around. …ah, snow. At least we have you. When you aren't being replaced by fake flakes of plastic… "The..reflection of me was the ghost.." she corrects Midnight. "Um. The other thing was my spell. I guess it's sad, but that's magic for you." She shrugs. Then glances towards Tale-Chaser, Magpie, and Page as they wander off. Then back up to Midnight. "…Am I weird?" Asked with the /biggest amber filly eyes ever/. Wibble!

Magpie drags TC into the alley and smooches his nose. "Okay so last year Dreamy gave Ruby a comic book not a scarf and she totally didn't notice and she's freaking out at snow which is cute and funny but like Dreamy has seen snow a lot and it's really weird AND I saw a ghost Dreamy in the glass only I think that's the real Dreamy and THIS one is the ghost 'cause the one in the mirror saved me in a dream and she wrote HELP ME inside my mirror and said to hug you for her." INHALE. "…oh, I should do that." She hugs Tale Chaser. "That's for Dreamy-in-the-mirror."

Tale-Chaser's glasses are fine, though he is slow and clumsy in their reapplication to his face as he listens to Magpie's rambling explanation with a somewhat dazed look. He gets them in place just as he's pulled into a hug. "Uh," he says, before reaching out to hug Magpie back in his thin forelegs. "But she looks just like Dream Daze," he asserts. Then he pauses, considering the hallucinations in the street, takes his glasses off once more, stares at them, then holds them out to Magpie. "Put- put these on and see if you can't see anything… anything unusual," he says. "Like a tiny Dream Daze runnin' away from… from a monster…"

Magpie uh. She puts on her coltfriend's glasses and peers at the world through vastly magnified eyes. "Hmmm… no… no monsters here…" She looks around just in case, then eeps. "Oooh, haha, that's making me dizzy!"

Midnight-Sun has no defenses whatsoever against wibbly filly eyes! He puts out a hoof, pats Dream Daze uncertainly on the shoulder. "Uh. No. Of course not." Headlaugh. "Whatever would make you think that? No, I'm sure this is perfectly normal unicorn filly behavior." Like that was a perfectly normal adult sentence to say. He bumps the strangely-quiet green-and-brown colt standing next to him. "Isn't that right, … Makuru's Friend? Dream Daze is totally not weird, right?" /Please help me!/

Spearmint blinks. He earsplays a bit. "What? Uh, no. Not… not weird at all." Except for the… talking. And the totally-not-acting-like-Dreamy-at-all. Other than that, sure, uh, not weird.

Dreamy beams. …Not that Spearmint can see it. She bounces over and hugs the colt anyway. "I was worried I was maybe a little different than I used to be~" she chimes. "I should uh… Get home and check on Star, so I'll see you guys around. Come by and visit sometime!" Big filly eyes say please! She just wants a little company sometime.

Midnight-Sun smiles uncertainly. "Ah! Well, I'm glad that's settled, then. Yes, I'm sure you should." Nudgenudge Spearmint. "Who's 'Star'?"