Lullaby's Nightmare?
IC date: Winter 44
OOC date: February 1
Location: Dreamland
PCs: Lullaby
NPCs: N/A
GM: N/A

It's a beautiful day in Horseshoe Harbor. The sun's shining. Not a cloud lurks in the clear blue skies, save that constant cloud cover ever hanging over the Wintersong Forest. There's not a sound to be heard over the barely whispering breeze that trails through the air, whipping up the mane of a certain cream-colored pony. The only pony in the street, apparently…

Lullaby enjoys the mild breeze and is glad that it is such a lovely day for a walk. Perhaps a nice stroll to the fountain will be refreshing. Deciding this, Lullaby walks off toward it with hardly a care in the world.

It's an uneventful walk. Which is perfect for peaceful times, right? The fountain looms right there, sparkling and bubbling, glistening in the sunlight. Such a quiet day. So nice. So peaceful. So empty.

Well maybe not completely empty. There's one pony. A tall, dark, and shadowy pony, with a black hooded cloak. Lurking next to the fountain, too! Just standing next to it, face obscured by the hood. It's watching Lullaby though. Or at least looking in that direction. Hard to tell without any eyes to see.

Lullaby stops and blinks. "Um, hi there." Waving a forehoof in what is, hopefully, a friendly greeting, Lullaby slowly walks closer.

The figure turns its head away. It turns back. Its head dips, lifts, and this time it has a face under the hood! Or a mask, at least. A cheap, plastic mask. White, with black eyes and an open, screaming mouth. A 'Scream' mask! But it isn't Nightmare Night, is it?

The figure points a hoof at Lullaby, taking a single silent step towards the other pony.

Lullaby gets a bit confused. "Umm, I'm Lullaby. That's a nice mask you have there, are you a monster? I met a hero-pirate recently you might get along with." Not knowing what is appropriate, Lullaby stands there and really hopes not to end up awkwardly entangled with a foal, if this is a foal.

It's certainly not a foal-sized pony! It doesn't seem to be a very talkative one either. Then again it doesn't seem to need to be very talkative when actions speak much louder! The pony rears back, balancing on its hind legs, one of its forelegs tucking back behind itself, under its cloak, it pulls back out a long staff-looking stick. One quick tap on the ground, and a blade slinks out with a sharp click! It looks disturbingly sharp and not-plastic. The mysterious pony takes another step closer…

Lullaby gets uncomfortable. That did not seem like a friendly action. Quickly saying, "Sorry for this," Lullaby hits the pony with a Go the Buck to Sleep spell and starts galloping off toward home. Maybe the pony is friendly and this is a misunderstanding, but it seems wiser to err on the side of safety and figuring it out later.

The pony stumbles and falls backwards into the fountain! A splash! …But all that bubbles back up to the surface of the fountain is a cloak with a mask laying atop it.

More importantly the moment Lullaby spins around to gallop off the scene has changed. Horseshoe Harbor? How about Everfree Forest! A dark foresty path, leaves kicking up behind the fleeing pony's hooves. It's dusk… The sun, setting somewhere, masked by the canopy of trees, playing longer and longer shadows over the trail. Owls hoot in the trees, bushes rustle…

Lullaby turns around in a circle trying to assess the situation. There must be a way to get home. Let's see moss always grows on some side of trees and the forest is which way from home? There's not enough sun to figure out compass directions. Alright, well, trying to get home might work better during the day. So, look for shelter. Lullaby starts following the path not knowing what else to do and hopes to encounter something useful for where to spend the night. Or maybe, at least, a good place to try to make a camp fire.

Over there! A convenient spot to set up camp looms just behind a pair of trees. A small clearing… In fact it seems to have already been claimed by somebody. There's a tent! And a campfire, burning oh so merrily in the growing darkness! And even a couple logs for seats! But no pony? Nope. No pony.

Lullaby calls out, "Hi, anypony. I seem to have gotten a bit lost." Maybe somepony is nearby. Then Lullaby walks over to the campfire feeling very relieved, as starting a fire without tools was not necessarily going to work. Lullaby sits down and prepares to wait, surely the pony whose campsite this is will return soon. Maybe they are off foraging for some nuts or such.

There's movement from the tent! A shadow inside the tent stirs, and then…

*WHRRRRRRRRR!*

Chainsaw!? A chainsaw blade pokes up from the tent's canvas! The tent shreds around the device poked through it, another masked pony rising up from its shambles! A pony in dark blue overalls, and a mask made of…leather. At least, one would hope it's leather. Wild red eyes stare through the mask at the stranger in the campground, the chainsaw revving up in the pony's grasp!

Lullaby suddeny remembers the last masked figure and gives a nervous tail swish, "Can't we just hang out peacefully?" before blasting this one with another Go the Buck to Sleep spell, but stands firmly, since the last one vanished, despite an increased heartrate betraying increasing concern about the situation.

The chainsaw-wielding pony pauses! Stuck with a 'sleep' spell? Those wild red eyes blink, then lid, then close completely, the chainsaw dropped to clatter to the ground, revving once then shutting off. The pony topples backwards into the mess of the tent…and vanishes! Leaving behind the overalls and the mask.

There's a moment of silence. Then the campfire goes out altogether, plunging the forest into total pitch-black darkness.

A moment after that, thin strands of moonlight can be seen. Why? Because Lullaby has apparently just woken up! See? There's the bed, with the pony in it, in a…bedroom? It looks like a bedroom. There's a bed in it, after all, and a dresser, and a door leading out to the rest of the…cabin? Yes. Cabin! Wooden walls, a single window for all that moonlight to come in through. Safe and sound in…bed.

Lullaby sighs, thinking, "Ponyfeathers. I woke up again. And it's still night." Rolling over, Lullaby tries to relax and fall back asleep.

*creak* *creak*

The creak of wood, the sound of hooves on wood, slowly creep down a hallway just outside the bedroom. Heavy hoofsteps. Clomp. Clomp.

And then a figure turns the corner. The hoofsteps stop. Another pony, lurking in the doorway of the bedroom. Wearing a hockey mask just under its horn, a big ol' carving knife hovering over its shoulder with its magic.

Lullaby tries to sit up, "You were in my dream! I'm probably still dreaming then. And if this is a dream, then I can control it! We are both going to be sitting down peacefully at the restaurant with a plate full of pumpkin pancakes! With warm maple syrup."

The masked pony looks confused. What?

Suddenly the scene shifts. It's a cafe. In a cabin in the woods. There are four ponies sitting at the table. Three of them wearing masks and looking all sorts of confused. Look! The Scream pony! And the leather-wearing overalls pony! And the hocky-mask wearing pony! Only instead of weapons, they're all holding forks. With plates of pumpkin pancakes in front of them. A big thing of maple syrup sits in the center of the table.

Lullaby smiles. "That's much better. I hope you all enjoy pumpkin pancakes. Afterwards, we can have milkshakes!" Pouring some syrup onto the pacakes, Lullaby prepares to have some, but first levitates the syrup over to the closest figure so others can have syrup on their pancakes too.

The three confused looking horror-ponies slump their collective shoulders. Milkshakes.

A little blue filly wanders by, in a waitress outfit! She looks much too young to be waitressing, but there she is, putting her forehooves on the table, and a pad with a pencil. "Milkshakes." the filly says, in the sweetest little…not-quite-right voice ever. "This wasn't supposed to go this way. How'd you do that..?"

But then something compells the little 'waitress' to keep moving before she can get an answer, leaving her notepad behind. "Four milkshakes for the freakshow table!" the filly calls!

"I'LL SWALLOW YOUR SOOOOOOUUUUULLLLLL!" the chef in the back answers.

Lullaby stands up and sternly says toward the chef, "Play nice! I want a pleasant dream. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to get a good night's sleep as is? Now, we're all going to have a lovely time." This isn't Lullaby's first lucid dream, and they can be fragile. It is best to make sure to enjoy them while they last. Then sits back down and eats some pumpkin pancake. Pumpkin is truly one of the best flavors.

A moment later four milkshakes come out, on a tray hovered along by the 'waitress'. The milkshakes get distributed to the group of very dumbfounded and unhappy looking ponies (save Lullaby, apparently!), the waitress chatting as she works.

"You ruined a perfectly fun nightmare, I hope you know. I had at least three more scenes planned for you. There was a bathtub, and a Necronomics Classroom, and a clown! I didn't get to release the clown!" The little waitress huffs. Then starts to wander off to tend to another table. Where a similar trio of dejected-looking poniesa weird undead one with a crown. a clown with really sharp teeth, and a pony with a striped shirt and a cats-paw glove are sipping coffee.

The little notepad nearby, which the waitress left behind, begins to draw something on itself. Ink just spreading out to form words:

That was awesome..! Help Makuru? :) —DD

Lullaby gets confused. That is not at all the way a normal lucid dream goes. Taking the notebook and trying to memorize what it says, Lullaby writes onto it, "I'll help if I can. Any info you can give me?" Then feels a bit bad for the waitress who seems quite upset, "Umm, I'm sorry. I just prefer pleasant dreams to nightmares. We could do something other than pancakes if you prefer? Maybe swimming or we could do something impossible like visiting the moon. Pancakes was just the first thing I thought of. I hear the Moon has lower gravity and you can do these fun flying hops on it."

The little waitress has to apparently wait to come back around. Something she looks awful grumpy about. Meanwhile the word 'Makuru' in the notepad is underlined twice, and inflated, filled in with stripes. That's apparently as far as it can go before the waitress has come back, reclaiming the notepad with a dainty sniff.

"No, no, I deal in fun nightmares. If this isn't a nightmare, I don't belong here. You just… You just sleep well, and… And… Wake up!"

The scene shakes! It rumbles! And just like that, it dissolves, the 'tainted' dream melting, the 'irritated' presence fading. Whatever it was has left Lullaby to go back to her regularly scheduled dreams…

Lullaby sighs and prepares for another fretful night of poor sleep, and that was going so well too. Ah well, back to normal. The weird message can be dealt with in the morning.