Hawthorn's Dream
IC date: Autumn 48
OOC date: November 6
Location: Dreamland
PCs: Hawthorn Dream-Daze
NPCs: N/A
GM: Applejack
It's dark outside. Dark, and empty. Dark, empty, and awful grey. Like all the colors of the world drained out when nobody was looking. Above the skies are overcast, darkened to nearly black, the barest hints of seams here and there to interrupt the otherwise heavy-looking mass of clouds.

Tall buildings stretch out along this road, to either side. Not a single alleyway to be found, and a lot of closed doors and darkened windows. All in various shades of grey. Everything except the single pony whom finds himself on this long stretch of road. A single, solitary, rusty-red colt, caught out in the lonely darkness.

Hawthorn huhs. He pauses a moment, looking around. He scuffs a hoof lightly against the ground, then coughs a bit. "Uh. Hello?" he calls. He takes a few steps. "Um. Anypony there? I-I don't really know where I am. Um. Or why I'm here." He coughs into a hoof, then starts to walk slowly through the streets.

Echoes, that's what the colt hears. The echoes of hooves on the cobblestone, bouncing off the buildings. The sound of his own voice bouncing back off the clouds. "Hello?" "Hello..?" "Hello…" "Hello!" "Hi!"

"Go away!"

Was that his own voice? It sounded like it, coming from all directions at once. "Nobody's here! Everybody's gone…" Echo, echo, echo!

Everybody except for the eyes apparently. From some of the building windows, within the darkened spaces, pairs of yellow-tinted eyes pierce the grey of the landscape, from behind curtains or just over windowsills. Hiding again when they know they've been spotted.

The buildings themselves are starting to come more into focus. Familiar shapes. Main street? It's Main Street! A very…grey and blocky Main Street… Look, there's the Mane Affair! With its wooden sign swaying and creaking in a sudden chill breeze spirited up from the clouds above. The echoes of hoofbeats are starting to sound like thunder now, they kept echoing long after they should have stopped, making a dull wave of rumbling noise in the background.

Hawthorn keeps walking, his ears folding back. He perks up a bit when he gets a hi back, then immediately wilts once again when he gets told to go away. "Er. Go away, where?" he asks, looking around. Everythign seems sort of, well, the same. He swallows, then ohs. The Mane Affair! He perks up and bounces that way, nosing his way into the salon. "Hello? Ruby? Magpie?"

The salon seems empty at first. The greyscale of outside bleeds into the interior of the salon, casting everything in so many shades of blah.

*clink-clink*

A sound from upstairs comes drifting down the stairwell. Sharp, different from the echoes and rumbles. The sound of dishes being done, of running water.

Meanwhile outside the rumbling continues to grow. Now sounding much like an ocean wave, rising and falling, but with more than hoofbeats. Now there's words. 'Hello?' 'Anypony there?' 'Why am I here?' 'Go away!'

Hawthorn ums, looking over his shoulder at the noises, ears all pinned back. He makes sure the salon door is securely closed, then heads upstairs. "Ruby? Magpie? Kludge? Anypony?" he asks, trying to ask a little quieter, so as to avoid any more undue evil echoes.

Look! There's a pony! In the kitchen. Is it Ruby? It sure looks a lot like her. And this IS her salon. But she's all grey… Much like the rest of the world. She doesn't seem to notice the calling either, putting one dish to the side, picking another one, dunking it in the sink.

*clink* *clink*

Hawthorn doesn't notice that Ruby is grey, or ignoring him. It's just enough that Ruby is there! He bounces and rushes over to hug Ruby. "Oh, I'm so glad to see you, it's been so creepy and I dunno what's going on but there's, like, no one around and the town is yellin' at me to get out or somethin', I don't really know, and it's been all CREEPY and I'm glad to see you!" He smiles up at Ruby.

The *clink* sounds stop, a dish held frozen in place the moment the Ruby-ish pony is hugged.

"You…" comes a faint, Ruby-ish voice. "…It's your fault…"

Another voice, from behind the wayward foal. Magpie's voice. "…The sky's falling…and it's your fault…"

Though when Hawthorn turns to look at the source of the second voice, it doesn't look much like Magpie. It's…a fuzzy pony shape. Like someone took a picture of a pony, and blurred out all the edges, all the lines, all the curves. A pony-shaped blob, with vague piebald markings. The only part of her in 'focus' is her eyes.

Piercing, yellow, pupil-less eyes.

Should Hawthorn turn to look at Ruby again, he'll find that she, too, has suddenly blurred out. That he's now hugging the suggestion of a pony. A pony now looking down at him, with another pair of those eyes. "…They came for you…" the Rubyish Shape hisses.

Hawthorn blinks. "M-my fault? What's m-my fault?" he asks, before turning to look at Magpie. He ums at the blurry pony. "You're n-not Magpie," he says, before squeaking and looking up at the Ruby-Shape. "Who c-came f-for me?" he asks, pinning his ears back. He starts backing up slowly, keeping his eyes on the Rubything and the Maggiething.

Now another sound begins to echo. From outside, the sounds of…rain? Hail? The pit-pat of something sprinkling on the ceiling of the salon begins to work its way through. Soft at first, just a few, but with growing volume and consistency. A hailstorm!

Both of the pony-ish blobs of shape watch the little colt as he stumbles back out of the kitchen, seeming to float along the ground, following in his hoofsteps.

"They came for yooooouuuu!" the Ruby-thing howls, stopping at the kitchen doors, but the Magpie-thing is having no issue with keeping up with the poor frightened foal. "Now they're going to get us too! Go away! GO AWAY!"

Hawthorn keeps backing up, shrinking before the things. "What came f-f-for me," he asks again, before eeking as the Magpiething starts yelling at him. He turns tail and bolts out the door, into the hail, skidding to a halt in the hail. He winces and peers upwards for a moment, then dashes towards the inn. Petticoat will remember him! He pauses, thinking about the Magpiething, then turns and starts towards the costume store, instead. He thinks he can stand it better if his boss is some sort of shadowthing instead of his coltfriend.

Outside, Hawthorn is greeted by the hailstorm! But it's not hail. It's gravel. Little bits of rock raining down. Gravel, with a few baseball-sized chunks of rock falling in near-misses around the fleeing foal. The costume shop? The inn? They're there, but they're different. There's no windows now. All of the buildings seem to have lost their windows. The costume shop's door…rattles. It's locked!

Now the roar of falling rocks has risen to a nearly deafening level, for that's what the clouds seem to have turned into. Rocks. Floating boulders in the shapes of clouds, raining down an endless hail of rocky bits. The sound is mixed with the unmistakeable sound of something heavy hitting the ground further down the street. There's something new there now. Two giant shapes, hewn from the rocky skies themselves, have arrived at the end of the street. Two very familiar shapes. Disturbingly similar to a particular pair of ponies that were meant to meet up with their foal in this very Harbor. Made out of stone, scanning the streets with great big yellow eyes. As they step, the ground shakes, and buildings begin to crack and crumble like so much more stone.

Hawthorn whimpers at the rocks, trying to keep his head down as he runs to the costume shop. He rattles the door some more, trying to get inside, dodging the rocks as they fall down around him. He whinges, starting to cry, caught alone and about to be squished by rocks. He blinks, and turns around, then lets out a little shriek of horror as he sees the two rock ponies. He turns and runs again, blind through his tears and just trying to Get Away.

STOMP! STOMP! Buildings crumble and shudder with every step the stone behemoths take, easily twice as tall as any of the Harbor's buildings.

STOMP! There goes the Mane Affair! STOMP! And now the costume shop! The twin giants watch as the colt dashes through the street, the seemingly endless street, lumbering behind him with a deep, ground-shuddering cry! "HAWTHOOOOORN! Why do you run! We came for you! And now we will take you home…"

The street's seemed to angle. Inclining, bit by bit, made slightly slippery by the mountains of gravel piling up around the running colt. In his blind panic he might not realize that he's walking straight up a wall until a light, a non-grey, very /yellow/ light pops up in front of his face! A light with a shadow in front of it, a hoof held out, mere inches away from Hawthorn.

Grab my hoof! Quickly! comes a voice from behind the hoof.

Hawthorn shudders, sobbing hysterically as he tries to excape from the rock monsters. He scrambles to safety and totally doesn't notice the wall he's running up. He doesn't pause to consider, either, but grabs onto the hoof offered to him. "Help me," he cries out, still sobbing, trying to scramble up.

A mighty tug helps the poor sobbing colt over the edge of the cliff. Looking back, the landscape is now a great canyon! The Harbor, or rather what's left of it, being torn apart by boulder-sized 'hail' stones raining down around the two monstrous rock-ponies that sit in the middle of the wreckage. The both of them, glaring up at the pair of foals that are now out of their reach, breathing out horrific whinnies of sound that echo off the cliff walls!

But there's also warm limbs around the colt. The yellow light can now be identified as the sun, now that he's above the rocky cloud cover. And the helpful hooves belong to a familiar little blue unicorn filly!

It's okay… You're safe… the filly speaks. Without moving her mouth. It just sounds like a sort of mental echo.

Hawthorn winces, still crying, at the neighing of doom. He clings to the little blue unicorn, sniffling pathetically. "Wh-what did I-I d-do wr-wrong," he sobs, clinging to Dreamy. "I'm s-s-so sorry!" He wails a little bit, sort of shrinking down into himself, trying to curl himself into a little ball, but utterly terrified to let go of the first REAL pony he's met all night.

It's okay! the voice echoes. Calm. Soothing. Contrast to the chaos of the nightmarish scene off the cliff. Both of the stone pony giants glare, stomping hooves hard enough to make little ripples of earthquakes rock the landscape, rocks shuddering all around the pair of foals. "HE BELONGS TO US!" the creatures howl, thrashing, bucking the walls of the canyon in their rage!

The filly sighs… She's petting the poor curled-up colt's mane, maybe glaring back at the giant creatures. You need to wake up. the voice 'speaks' again. Wake up, Hawthorn. Wake up!

Hawthorn is hiccuping a bit, squeaking at the shuddering rocks, trying to squirm away from the edge of the cliff. "Wh-what?" he asks, looking up at Dreamy, "W-wake up from wh-what?" he asks, looking around. How does one wake up? He tries to pinch himself.

The rage of the stony creatures intensifies… The quaking ground cracks and shudders around the pair of foals, causing the little filly to cling tighter to the colt. It's just a dream. Wake up..! the voice says again, urgently, just before the quakes crack the ground open right beneath the foals!

Now they're in free-fall. Tumbling, falling, wind rushing by, the ground rushing up to meet them. Dreamy's forelegs find Hawthorn in the air, eyes closed, horn lit up, trying one more time before they can hit the ground!

WAKE UP!!!

Whether it was due to some sort of spell, or the universal rule of waking up before one ever hits the ground in dreams… The colt would find himself jerked out of dreamland, the sound of those enraged stoney beasts and endlessly falling rocks lingering in that space between dreams and reality, the last vestige of a horrible nightmare.

Hawthorn squeals in terror as the ground falls away. "Oh noooo," he cries, closing his eyes tightly and

Sitting bolt upright in bed, panting heavily. He flails a bit, trying to get out from under the ro… er… blankets, sniffling and hiccuping a bit. What a horrid dream.