Makuru's Dream
IC date: Autumn 52
OOC date: November 10
Location: Dreamland
PCs: Makuru Dream-Daze
NPCs: N/A
GM: Applejack
A lonely night in the woods. A mountain to one side, stretches of forest to the other, this path just seems to go on and on and on forever, lit only by the pale moonlight from above. This is, after all, the best time to go picking rare nighttime mountain herbs, isn't it? It might even be a pleasant walk. Perfect temperature. Not even a chill breeze.

There's not even noise. No rustling leaves, no chirping crickets, no squeaking bats. Nothing, but the soft sound of someone calling for help somewhere from the mountain.

"Help! Heeeeeelp! Somepony help meeee!"

Where is that voice coming from? It's a solid mountain wall, isn't it? Except for that spot that looks like a small, circular hole in the mountainside, worn smooth around all of the edges. Maybe just big enough for a foal to crawl through. The voice seems to be coming through here!

A happy little zebra colt positively prances through the forest at night, gray coat blending in seamlessly with the gray light from the moon high above. "This is gonna be great~" Makuru trills joyfully, "I'm gonna find some star ferns and moonshade and papa said there were princess crescents that grew out here!" He finds himself alongside an almost sheer cliff and trots alongside it with his gaze skyward, hoping to catch sight of those elusive crescent-patterned blossoms growing from its rocky face.

But then a voice cuts through the otherwise perfect quiet of the evening. A voice calling for… help! "Huh? Hey, who's that?" He pauses and looks around. "Hello? Where are you? Hold on, I'll be right there!" Makuru trots around trying to figure out where the source of the soft voice is, making several passes of the cliff before he finally catches sight of the hole. "Hello? I'm coming! Don't stop yelling, okay!?" He tries to climb into the whole and discovers it's juuuust too small to fit the colt while he's wearing his saddlebag. Looks like he'll have to shrug it off here and go in without! Shimmy shimmy~

It seems the edges of the hole isn't the only thing worn smooth! The tunnel that hole leads into is just as smooth around all the edges. Smooth, strangely circular, with a texture similar to polished glass.

"Help, heeeeeeelp!" the voice continues to call, goading the happy-go-lucky zebra on! It's a horribly dark tunnel. It seems to go on forever!

And then suddenly it changes! The tunnel opens up unexpectedly, tilting at such a sharp angle, and with almost no friction around that rounded edge, that the foal inside is given the equivalent of an amusement park slide ride, looping around and around, squiggling a path that feels like it goes through the whole mountain! A red glow up ahead marks the end of the tunnel, the poor colt spit out of the tunnel into an odd room! A room with transparent, steep, smooth walls, built in a circular shape, running an inverted slope upwards back to the mouth of the tunnel he had been dropped out from.

It's…a flask. A giant glass flask. Now containing one little striped zebra colt.

A flask, that sits on a great expanse of wooden tabletop, lined with many other similar glass containers. Many of them also containing little ponies. Off in the distance the red glow can now be identified as a fire, warming a gigantic cauldron, steaming and bubbling merrily. The rest of the room is filled with so much darkness that the firelight just can't seem to fight it all off!

"I'm coming!" Makuru calls out once more to the voice. "Talk to me, okay? My name is Makuru! What's your name?" He continues trying to calm the calling voice as he crawls through the oddly slick tunnel, stopping only when the ground gives out beneath him and he begins tumbling helplessly down the impossibly slippery tube. "WAUGH!" he cries in surprise, hooves scrabbingly for a hold on any surface he can reach.

After the seemingly endless ride deposits him in what appears to be a building-sized evaporating flask the zebra colt shakily gets to his hooves and looks around. "Hello?" Makuru calls out, voice echoing off of the walls of his prison. "Hey! Are you guys okay!?" He trots to the edge of his flask and pounds his hoof on the side of it to try and grab their attention. "My name's Makuru! What's going on here?"

Many of the other filled flasks have ponies banging on the edges of their containers, ramming against the glass and bouncing off in comical rubber-ish rebounds. There seems to be maybe twenty in all visible, the two closest now with ponies that press their faces and hooves up against the glass, looking over into Makuru's smooth prison.

"We're all trapped!" one pony says.

"He caught us all… He's going to make potions out of us!" another pony whines.

"The lucky ones get made into potions…" a particularly grim-faced pony says, with his back against a beaker wall.

Off in the distance, something moves in the shadows. It's joined by the dull 'thud' of hoof-falls on a wooden floor. Whoever's responsible for this, they seem to be approaching!

Makuru's eyes go wide at the explanation from the other foals. "What?" he says. "You can't… that's terrible! You can't make potions out of ponies!" He bangs on the glass like the other foals have been doing, turning and charging the far wall to shoulder check it with little success. "I'll get out of here!" the zebra yells to the other prisoners. "Don't worry! I'll get out of here and get all of you out of here, too!" Clink clink clink goes his hooves against the wall.

The sound of the hoofbeats grows nearer! The ponies in the other flasks begin to cower, huddling with each other at the farthest edges of their respective containers.

"It's too late!" one of them shrieks in a squeaky voice! "He's here! Noooo I don't wanna be a potioooonnn!"

A shape moves past the firelight, silhouetted by the flickering flames. As it marches up to the table, details can be made out. Dark grey tones. Stripes. A dredlocked manestyle with some of the dreds practically glowing in the dim lighting. And a pair of piercing gold eyes that study the table, and all the little ponies.

"Momma says sometimes the best cure for a bad day is a little stallion…" a very familiar, if somewhat distorted voice echoes, nimble hooves reaching for several of the flasks to begin studying the contents of each one. The ponies in each flask flail and gallop around in a blind panic as they're studied!

"I wonder which one of you is gonna make her feel better."

The little zebra stares up at the giant pony eyeballing the entrapped foals. He knows that foal. It's impossible for him not to. "…hey! What do you think you're doing!?" Makuru yells up at himself, not thinking for a moment that there is anything strange about a giant monstrous version of himself towering over him. "Stop that! I can't just make potions out of ponies! Miss Fizz made me promise that I'd never make anything that took away somepony's free will, and I'm pretty sure this counts!" His hoof stamps against the bottom of his own flask with a defiant *clink*

The giant version of Makuru sets down the flask he was eyeballing, instead picking up the one with the mini-Makuru in it! Golden eyes, alight with their own inner fire, peer into the glass container, at the miniature version of himself.

"I don't care." he states, honestly. "Momma's sick and needs help. When momma's sick, I gotta help! If Momma wants a little pony, that's what I'm gonna get!" Those golden eyes widen, "You kinda look like me. Do you know momma? Maybe if I use you, momma will get better faster!"

That said, Giant Makuru turns away from the table and starts three-hoof stepping towards the bubbling cauldron. "A little stallion in the morning, a little mare at night, that's what momma says will make you feel all right!"

Makuru stumbles as his flask is picked up, the slippery bottom providing no purchase for his hooves. After a few failed attempts to get back to his feet he remains lying down in the glassware. "Wh-what!?" the colt stammers, taken aback by his own apathy. "What do you mean 'I don't care'? Of course I care!" He Tries another time to get to his hooves, slipping almost immediately and falling onto his face. "I'm not gonna hurt one pony to help another! That's not right!" His golden eyes flit to the rapidly approaching cauldron. "Stop it! That's not what momma meant when she said she needed a little stallion!" Granted, he's not entirely sure WHAT that meant but he's a hundred percent sure it didn't mean eating a foal!

"Not even momma?" the Giant Makuru says, holding the flask up. They're next to the cauldron now, still bubbling, though now it probably seems more sinister than merry.

"What would you do if momma got sick, and the only way to make her better was this?" the Giant Makuru wonders, setting the flask on a small stand, so he can tend to applying other ingredients to the cauldron.

Carrots. Onions. Potatoes. Celery.

"Momma says ponies are like the spice of life. So I'm gonna make pony soup!"

Something different peeks out from one of the vegetables on the stand. A little pony! A unicorn filly. Little, blue, and trying to be quite sneaky with the sneaking from veggies to the far side of the flask, where she can push her face up against the glass and peer at the colt inside.

"Not literally!" Makuru screams at himself. "Not like this! Momma loves everypony! She wants them to have fun and be happy!" He pounds on the edge of his flask. "I wouldn't… I'd never hurt somepony for momma! She wouldn't want it! She'd hate me if I did!" Clink clink clink. He doesn't notice the blue filly watching him from the other side of the flask. "Stop it! I don't want momma to hate me!" His voice grows more desperate as the thought of himself disappointing and angering his mother like this floods his mind. Never, never, never! He'd never do this. So… why is he!?

"Makuru!" a voice calls from the darkness. "Is that soup ready yet? I'm hungry! Don't keep your momma waiting!"

It seems this Makuru has the same thoughts. He doesn't want to anger and upset his momma! Vegetables get chopped up quicker, added to the stewpot, the giant colt focused on filling the cauldron up now. "I don't want momma to hate me…" he mutters as he works, the light that was in those golden eyes fading.

Meanwhile the filly behind the flask lifts a hoof and clinks it gently. Clink, clink tink! It comes with a voice. Or at least, the echo of a voice, without a mouth for it to properly come from.

Psst… Makuru… Behind you..!

Makuru pounds on the glass more desperately. "She won't if I don't hurt anypony! Don't do this! I can't do this!" He doesn't turn to Dream Daze when the mare speaks into his mind so quietly, as enthralled by his own nightmare as he is. It really is easy for his mind to be consumed by another's thoughts, isn't it?

The tapping comes more frequently. Urgently, even! Tink tink tink TINK!

Makuru! Snap out of it!

The little filly begins to pace, around the edge of the flask, keeping an eye on Giant Makuru. Over halfway done with his veggies. Not good! She races around to where the mini-zebra's pounding on the glass himself, popping up in front of him and planting her hooves on the flask. Tink!

Giant Makuru's ears twitch, a carrot dangling from his mouth over the cauldron. It opens, the carrot drops, his gold eyes taking a hard edge to it.

"What are you doing out of your cage? Oooh I'll have to throw you in too before momma finds out!"

The mentally shouted words still don't seem to get Makuru's attention. Dreamy is competing with such an impossibly large force… how can one little filly hope to pull a zebra out of his own dreams when it's so easy to make him slip into them in the first place. But… there's something else. A voice echoes back to the unicorn, clearly Makuru's but small and hollow, the words not matching up with his own pleadings to his larger self.

Run, Dreamy! I don't want to hurt you!

Dreamy nearly jumps out of her skin upon hearing that small, hollow voice! What!? It almost makes her miss the fact that she'd just been spotted too! Run? Run! That suddenly seems like a very good idea, what with Giant Makuru looming over the pair, watching with narrowed eyes. "Again you interfere…" Giant Makuru rumbles, reaching for a wide-mouthed class cup. "But this one is different. Easy. So easy!"

Down comes the cup! Off dashes the little dream-filly! Dashing behind a rotund onion, squirming between that and a nearby beet.

Makuru! You're just dreaming! If you wake up this all goes away! Wake up befo—

*CLOP!* The cup comes down again, cutting the beet and catching the filly with it! Trapped under glass, Dreamy starts galloping in quick laps within those confines, spinning and kicking at the walls each time! Tink. Tink. Tink. Oh dear…

Finally the zebra spots Dreamy, but he's still caught up in the narrative of his nightmare. "Leave her alone!" he cries out. "Momma doesn't want her! Only I can make her better!" More desperate clinks of hoof on flask. "Momma just wants her little stallion!"

I'm… I'm dreaming? But it's so scary… how could I dream about something so terrible? How do I wake up?

For a moment, Dreamy can't seem to respond. If that was her 'talking' in the first place! She cowers behind the slice of beet trapped in the glass with her, trying to steady her breathing. Huff. Huff! Phoo. Giant Makuru has gone back to chopping up vegetables, sliding them into the pot. "Maybe it's time to add a little spice." the giant says, reaching for…Dreamy's cup.

It's just a dream! the whispery voice states again. Hurry! Make yourself wake up! Before…

Giant Makuru scoots the cup off the table, making the slice of beet and little dreamy filly land on his outstretched hoof. "And into the pot you go! No more meddlesome filly!"

"NO! I'll save you!"

Both Makuru and the voice of Makuru scream out at once. He backs up and charges forward once more. And this time… this time something happens. He has just enough leverage to move his bottle, the round bottom of the evaporating flask wobbles precariously, hovering undecided for several agonizingly long moments before finally tipping over. The zebra scampers out of the bottle and charges to the edge of the cauldron-side table.

The bottle, tipped, the table practically bosom buddies with the nearby bubbling cauldron, Giant Makuru doesn't seem to notice that his mini-me has escaped, turning towards the pot in a sort of dream-induced slow motion effect. Dreamy hangs from the giant's hoof, looking rather terrified herself that this dream hasn't ended yet. No! This isn't how it's supposed to go..! Or rather, it is how it's supposed to go and that's a big problem!

Maku! the whispery filly's voice calls out, as the giant's hoof moves over the bubbling cauldron. Help!!

The cloppity clop of little hooves on butcher block echo through the dream. Makuru, sense of self preservation thrown out of the window entirely, gallops at max speed to the edge of the table and leaps off. He'll get her! He'll catch Dreamy and save her and completely forget the fact that she's hanging over a boiling pot of stew that will cook them both alive because there's no way in Tartarus he's gonna go clear to the other side!

On the one hoof, as Dreamy begins falling, also in that dramatic slow motion, seeing Makuru leap for her is very heartening! Yet when the zebra colt collides with the falling unicorn filly, and they both start streaking towards the bubbling surface of the boiling cauldron, a piece of beet spinning through the air above them, that 'thank you!' expression turns into one of sudden panic. No! Still falling! Giant Makuru begins to laugh, a sinister, rumbling belly laugh, while Dreamy's horn lights up, her voice echoing through.

Wake up! Wake up!! Wake uuuuuuup!!!

Striped limbs hold Dreamy tightly to himself as the pair plummet, the slow motion of the fall suddenly being not so slow… then quite fast, actually. The inevitable rushes up at them in an eternity and a fraction of a second with nothing to stop them as they plunge into the surface of the br—

*CRASH*

Makuru falls out of his bed and hits the floor of his room hard, the sudden jolt and pain forcing him out of his nightmare. "DREAMY!" he chokes out, blinded by the blanket he's tangled in that's fallen over his head. "Dreamy! Dreamy, where are you!?"

The door of Makuru's room opens, flooding it with light. A zebra mare is silhouetted in the doorway. "Maku? Little Maku, did you have a bad dream?"

The colt stops struggling at the sound of the voice. He hiccups once. Sniffles. Begins to bawl. Makuru stumbles to his feet and takes a few steps towards the voice, finally managing to free himself as he charges into his mother's awaiting hooves. "Waaah! Momma! I'm so sorry, I didn't want to hurt her! Don't be mad at me!"

"Shh, shh, it's alright, Little Maku. Momma's not mad at you… it was just a dream…"