Spearmint's Naptime
IC date: Autumn 89
OOC date: December 17
Location: Dreamland
PCs: Spearmint Dream-Daze

Spearmints dreamscapes are not the most colorful. Or maybe they are! He has no idea, as he rarely actually sees them. It's okay, though, he doesn't need to! It's a nice, if chilly day out, a light wind blowing, the smell of cocoa and gingerbread in the air. There's snow underhoof, light and fluffy, but it doesn't muffle the little colt's hoofsteps a bit as he trots along in his favourite scarf and little holiday hat. It's not a very exciting dream, but then, he didn't want it to be, so there's that! He's not /entirely/ mastered the whole 'figuring out if he's dreaming or not' trick. He's not entirely certain this is a dream - after all, it is pretty… normal. But he's got a path beneath his hooves and a hat on his head and a /plan/. Thus is the minty little pony trotting his way through the bustling market, looking to peruse the food stalls. Of course, they should be full of winter fare, of cold-weather ingredients and the usual staples. If he has his way, though, they won't be!

So what are the stalls full of then? Well… This one's selling cocoa mugs. One can hear the 'tink' of hooves tapping ceramic! And little wisps of cocoa scent as they're tested! And that stall over there? It's got Holiday Quiche. And this other one's got cold-weather towels! Perfect for wrapping around ones head like a scarf, only bigger and fluffier and able to be used to dry someone off in a pinch! Get yours today!

But then there's this one stall. It appears to be selling…music boxes? If the pleasant tinkle of many such little objects making music at the same time is any indication. Only it's less like a mass of music boxes and more like a symphony, as though they all were set off in such a way that many different tunes and themes mesh in one glorious harmony…

It's at the end of the row. Or so it sounds.

Spearmint tilts his ears, then his whole head. That's… that's a nice sound! And… is there a market stall that sells music boxes? He doesn't think so. He was hoping for chili peppers or oranges or summer squash or something, but hey, he's learning! It's a start, even if it's not a food. He heads carefully towards the sound, bobbing lightly along with the tune.

The sound grows stronger, and stronger! Until the little blind colt just simply must be standing in front of the stall! The sound rises and falls as various musicboxes finish their tunes, only to start up again moments later as if by clockwork. Somewhere in there is even the soft tick-tick of a metronome keeping time for the various mechanical devices in their clockwork symphony of delicate chimes.

Can I…help you, traveler? comes a…well not exactly a voice. More like a thought. Or even a mental presence. Foreign, yet disturbingly familiar.

Spearmint jumps a bit at the not-voice, blinking. "Oh! Uh. Er, hello? I just… it's a nice, um, song that's playing over here." He frowns. He's pretty good at placing voices, but this isn't a voice! It's… something else. He can't avoid the feeling, though, that maybe he should be pretty good at placing it, too.

Yes.. It is, isn't it. Travelers come from miles around to come and listen to my music boxes. Every one of them carries a memory in them, you know.

For a few moments, the shopkeeper seems to sit in their stall in silence. The 'voice' is feminine, at least. Why wouldn't it be, linked to so many pretty objects?

You look a little lost. the 'voice' continues, Did you come here looking for something…specific?

Spearmint blushes, thinking on this for a second. Did he? He's pretty sure he did. "Um… I… I think I was looking for… oranges." He rubs his chin with one hoof; that doesn't quite sound right. "I mean, um… maybe not oranges particularly. Any citrus would do." He frowns faintly. "…I… I think I might have been looking for somepony, too," he says slowly, with an air of realization. "I think that's really what I wanted to find."

There's another moment of silence. The sounds of hooves scuffing on snow-dusted cobblestone, perhaps pacing. The 'voice' seems to come from the same angle every time though. Which is to say, no angle at all.

It's the wrong time of year for fruit. the 'voice' explains, And looking for ponies in a place like this would be like a specific seashell in a sea of sand. What you seek could be miles away.

The voice stops. The scuffing of hooves stops, nearby.

Or it could be right under your nose.

Spearmint sighs. "Yeah. I'm not very good at all this." He frowns down at his hooves - or, well, past them, really, but that's the general direction. "…I'm looking for my friend. She's been acting… different, and… and I want to know why. It's not… it's not /bad/ different," he says in a tone that sounds faintly as if he's trying, perhaps not for the first time, to remind himself of that. "It's just… not… the same. I liked her how she was. I didn't want her to change at all. …That's a bad thing to say. I'm a bad friend." He sounds like he's been thinking about this for a while. He also sounds like he's wondering why he hasn't shut up yet.

There's the sound of a sigh. A real sigh. Not a head-voice sigh. When the voice does return, it's…hesitant.

Change can be difficult. If you never change, life becomes dull and stale. But it is never easy to change, and it's not always for the best.

The sounds of hoofsteps resumes, stepping behind the colt, walking around to his other side.

You're not a bad friend for not wanting to lose what you're familiar with. But you may want to think about why you like them in the first place. Maybe this friend isn't so much of a friend anymore?

Here the voice laughs, a soft, merry echo. Ah, but here I am, giving advice when I should be helping! I am curious, why are you looking for your friend /here/, of all places? Is your friend here, too? Were you separated?

Spearmint blinks, ears twitching to follow the hoofbeats. "Well, um… I'm not… sure. Well, no, that's not it, it's just kind of hard to explain." He sighs. "I don't know, I guess I was sort of hoping to just… run into her?" He kicks a hoof at the powdery snow. "It sounds dumb. I've been having these… dreams. And she's in them. And she's… like she always is. And so I thought maybe if I dreamed more I could figure out what was going on, so I've been sleeping and dreaming and…" he blinks. "…And this is a dream. Right? Music boxes don't work like that. And the snow's not even that cold. And I can hear you just fine but you're not talki-…" Blink. Blinkblink. DUH. "…Dreamy?"

About the same time the colt figures things out, the hoofsteps stop. Two seconds later there's a pair of legs hugged around him! Hugging so nicely too!

Took ya long enough… the mental voice grouses, playfully. It even has a tinge of a giggle to it. I thought I was gonna have to clonk you with one of these musicboxes before you got the clue. …I mean, I know it's a /dream/ and all but… The voice trails off.

Spearmint blushes, hugging back perhaps a biiiit tighter than is strictly necessary in a friendly hug. It… it's not like he crazy missed her or anything. Nope. "H-hey! I'm new at this. And it's all really confusing." He lays his ears back, suddenly nervous. "…I didn't say something bad, did I? I don't… I mean… it… it's great you can talk! It is. But you never… you never use your magic anymore, and you don't bug me to bake you cookies, and you lead me around everywhere like I'm gonna run into something and… and you're not acting like… like you." He burbles this all out very quickly. If he gets it out, he gets it over with! And, well, it's just a dream, so if he's saying all the wrong things, it's okay because it's just a dream and he can try again next nap. Right?

I know… the mental voice says. For the record, the hug hasn't exactly been let go either! That seems to be all she's inclined to say too, for a long moment. Apparently choosing to revel in the hug. There's a perfectly logical reason for it, too.

Spearmint tilts an ear. "There is?" He puzzles over this, trying to figure out what it could be. "…You… you still wanna be my friend, right?" The hug says yes, but he's never been the most secure colt out there.

That question makes the hug squeeze tighter for a second! And then let go, the feel of a hoof gently put to the colt's forehead.

Silly… the 'voice' intones. Of course! See, that Dreamy isn't m-

"FOUND YOU!" another voice cries! This one very much audible. Audible, and full of anger! "I knew you'd come sneaking somewhere around here! I just knew it!"

The sound of hooves tromping down the cobblestone quickly gets louder! Whoever owns that angry voice is coming quick!

Spearmint eeps and wirls about, eyes wide and ears flat. What? What? No, he doesn't want to dream some angry… yelly… thing! He was just about to get told something /important/. "Who's there? I'm not sneaking anyplace!"

Not good..! Dreamy's 'voice' chimes, startled out of her Important Revelation. Um… Sorry about this. I'll find you again, Minty~

Sorry about what? Is that the sound of a spell? It's all…chaotic! And…suddenly it stops. Just like that. Like someone changed the channel, suddenly the dreamscape is…springtime. In a meadow. Birds, chirping, a warm breeze…

Not a pony around to be heard. Anywhere.

Spearmint blinks, ears twitching this way and that frantically as he tries to figure out what just happened. "Wait! Dreamy? Don't leave! What were you telling me? Come back!" He bounds a few leaps in a random direction before stopping, drooping a bit. Darnit. He was pretty sure that had almost been something really important. "Now I gotta find you all over again," he states, somewhere between a whiny complaint and a determined statement.