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All Ends With Beginnings Pt.2

By SaltAnon
Created: 8th December 2020 05:00:29 AM

  1. >The sun broke the horizon and the rooster cawed.
  2. >You try your damnedest to open your eyes but it was proving the be a lot more difficult than normal.
  3. >You shouldn’t have worked late.
  4. >You proved Big Mac wrong though, got that pigpen cleaned before midnight.
  5. >11:55 was before midnight. Though that didn’t count getting cleaned up and eating a late dinner of cold apple pie.
  6. >You stretched your hooves and yawned.
  7. >You smacked your lips.
  8. >Ugh, what was that...UGH!
  9. >You could still taste the mud and apple pie in your mouth.
  10. >In fact, you were sure you could taste everything you ate from the past two months.
  11. >You got out of bed and went to freshen up, a lot of work still had to be done today, luckily you were expecting help.
  12. >Twilight brought over that Human thing from Canterlot, turns out he was going through some tough stuff and needed help.
  13. >Twilight told you he was very lonely back at home, so you decided a day on the farm with with the Apple Family would do him good...maybe?
  14. >Look, you weren’t a shrink. Just ol’ honest Apple Jack.
  15. >You were better at planting trees and apple bucking than being a shoulder to cry on.
  16. >Weren’t those Humans supposed to be good at fighting and stuff?
  17. >Well, you suppose war would be hard, if he ever been in it.
  18. >You really didn’t pay attention to all those stories, didn’t really interest you.
  19. >Cared so little that you got a D in the subject of Folk Lore, which was something your Ma and Pa weren’t too happy about, bless their hearts.
  20. >You walked down stairs and were greeted by the rest of the Family.
  21. >Damn, you’re usually a lot earlier. Then again you were working late last night.
  22. >Applebloom was the first to see you.
  23. >”Good mornin’ sis! You’re later than usual, did ya’ win the bet with Big Mac?”
  24. “Sure did sugar cube, got that pig pin cleaned with time to spare.”
  25. >”Ya, five minutes to spare.”
  26. >You glared at Big Mac, piece of shit sitting there with that stalk of grass in his teeth.
  27. “Ah’ said ah’d have it done before MIDNIGHT. And 11:55 is before midnight.”
  28. >Big Mac just smiled and sat back.
  29. >”Any more wins like that sis and you’ll have to go to the doctor for sleep deprivation.”
  30. >Granny Smith dropped a tray of pancakes down with a slam.
  31. >”Consarnit, all ya two know how to do is bicker back n’ forth. Now shut up and eat yer’ breakfast. We’ve got a lot of work today.”
  32. >”Oh! Oh! Ain’t today the day when Twilight’s new friend is supposed to be comin’ over to help out?”
  33. >Applebloom was jumping up in down in her seat.
  34. “Yep! He’s apparently down in the dumps ‘bout sumthin’. Nothing a good hard days of work and some Apple family bondin’ won’t fix! I gotta warn y'all three though. He is an alien.”
  35. >Big Mac perked his ears up at this.
  36. >Appleblooms eyes seemed to somehow grow bigger.
  37. >”Wow! What kind of alien sis?”
  38. “He’s a Human, y’know, from like, folk tales or sumthin’”
  39. >”A Human? Y'all invited some bald blood thirsty monkey to our farm!?”
  40. >Granny smith’s teeth almost flew out of her mouth.
  41. “Now hold on Granny, he ain’t so bad, from what Twilight’s been sayin’. He ain’t like the humans from our stories!”
  42. >Truth be told, you were very skeptical of him too. But you trusted Twilight, and from the way it sounded, he was very docile. A bit on the sadder side when it came to attitude.
  43. >”Sho, wha’sh he like den?”
  44. >Applebloom was trying to talk through her food.
  45. >Silly filly.
  46. “He’s been havin’ a lot of trouble gettin’ used to Equestria, and he apparently ain’t gotta way home. So Twilight was tasked to help him out. And we’re fixin’ to help her. Alls we gotta do is help him out.”
  47. >”So, we’re helpin’ him, by him helpin’ us?”
  48. >You nodded.
  49. >”Cool!”
  50. >Granny Smith wiped off her face and put her dish away.
  51. >”Well Apple Jack, jus’ so ya’know, if he starts goin’ round and causin’ mayhem, that’s extra chores for the rest of the year.”
  52. “Ah’ promise Granny, he’ll be on his best behavior, Ah’ll make sure of it.”
  53. >And that was the Celestia’s honest truth.
  54. >Mother fucker tries anything and his face will be the receiving end of a bucking.
  55. >A few hours later you were out doing your usual rounds.
  56. >Bucking apples of trees, when you saw Anonymous walking up the road.
  57. >You waived your hoof at him.
  58. ”Howdy Anon! Glad to see yer finally here.”
  59. >”Hey, sorry I’m a little late, took a while finding the place.”
  60. “Twilight didn’t help you?”
  61. >”Well, she gave me directions, but she said she would be busy with something concerning me today, so I walked here on my own.”
  62. “Welp, now that you’re here, I’ll get you accompanied to my family, and then we can get started.”
  63. >”Ah, I see, so, what will we be doing today?”
  64. “Workin’!”
  65. >”Ah...I see. Well, alright, let’s go and meet your family I guess.”
  66. >You walk Anon back up to the barn where Applebloom, Big Mac, and Granny were all getting prepared for the day’s work ahead.
  67. “Anonymous, Ah’d like to introduce you to the Apple family. Right here’s Big Mac, Applebloom, and our Granny Smith.”
  68. >Anon raised a hand in greeting.
  69. >”Hi. Nice to meet all of you.”
  70. >”WOAH! A real human! Ah’m Applebloom, ah never thought ah’d meet a mythical creature! Does your species really go to war all the time?”
  71. >”Well, I guess war is kinda-”
  72. “Applebloom, be nice! Sorry ‘bout that Anon, she can get a little excited.”
  73. >Anon shook his head.
  74. >”No, it’s okay, I was expecting to be asked questions like these sooner or later. And to answer that questions, not ‘all the time’. At least with the bigger nations. Diplomacy is just easier than war, less expensive too. I believe most conflicts back home are just civil ones.”
  75. >Applebloom was infatuated with Anon at this point.
  76. >”Wow! That’s so interestin’. Hey! Do human’s get cutie marks?”
  77. >”Uhm...”
  78. >Okay you probably needed to put a stop to this. Work had to be done and it was almost noon.
  79. “Y’all can ask that later Applebloom. We’ve got us some work to do. Come on Anon, ah’ll give ya some tasks to get started on.”
  80. >”Well, alright.”
  81. >You walked over to the barn and reached your muzzle into your saddle bag. You pulled out a list and spat it in Anon’s hand.
  82. >”Man, I’ll never figure out how you ponies can be so flexible as to reach behind your necks like that.”
  83. “Heh, it can cause cramps sometimes. All right Anon, here’s a list. None of the work is too difficult, nothin’ ah didn’t think you couldn’t handle. Y’all just have to feed the live stock, milk the cows, and then shuck the rest of the corn from last night. We got most of that done. Feel free to do them in any order ya like, after all that’s done, we’re havin’ dinner.”
  84. >”That all sounds doable I guess.”
  85. “Great, ah have to go and get the rest of the west orchard bucked, feel free to holler any time y’all need help.”
  86. >”Alright.”
  87. “Good, see ya in a bit Anon.”
  88. >You make your way back to the west orchard and get to work bucking with Big Mac.
  89. >He hasn’t said anything about Anon yet.
  90. >In fact he hasn’t said anything at all since Anon arrived. Just sort of stared at him.
  91. >Giving him the evil eye.
  92. >”Ah’m assumin’ you put him too good work?”
  93. >You bucked a tree and with a shake apples came raining down.
  94. “Yea, just havin’ him tend to the animals and finishing the last bit of the corn from last night. Ah don’t think we’d have all that finished by midnight even with all of us workin’.”
  95. >”Eeyup.”
  96. >You look over to your older brother and cock your head to the side.
  97. “What do ya think of Anon Mac? Ah saw you givin’ him a mean stare when y’all met.”
  98. >Big Mac bucked his tree and managed to catch all the falling apples in his basket.
  99. >He never did show you how he did that.
  100. >Maybe because he was so large.
  101. >”Ah just get bad vibes from the guy. Livin’ in our town, you sorta have to expect strange things to happen.”
  102. >He huffed as he loaded his barrels into the cart.
  103. >”But from him, knowing their stories, somethin’ just ain’t sittin’ right.”
  104. “Aw shucks Big Mac, you can see he’s a docile fella.”
  105. >Big Mac hooked himself up to the cart and you followed him down the path to the next section of trees.
  106. >”AJ, ah saw his bruises, and ah could see the red on his hoodie. Ah don’t think he spilled punch on himself.”
  107. >You meant to ask Twilight about all of that.
  108. >His hoodie was torn in places, and he had a bruise above his right eye.
  109. >You heard about Anon being in a bad place before coming here, but all you knew was to not ask him about it.
  110. “Anon’s been through a lot Big Mac. It’s not our place to judge, we just need to make him feel at home.”
  111. >Big Mac shrugged as he unhooked himself from the cart and grabbed two more empty barrels.
  112. >”If ya say so sis.”
  113. >”GAHH! GOD DAMN IT!”
  114. >You could hear Anon screaming.
  115. “Horse apples.” You swore.
  116. “That was Anon. Stay here and keep workin’, Ah’ll be right back.”
  117. >You booked it over to where you heard the scream.
  118. >The chicken coop.
  119. >You stopped at the gate to see Anon, covered in chicken feed and surrounded by chickens, with a look like he wasn’t very pleased with the situation he’s in.
  120. >You had to stifle your chuckle as you opened the gate and walked in.
  121. “Aheh heh. Anon, you okay? Seems like y’all got yourself in an unfortunate situation. Chickens seem to like you though.”
  122. >You gave him a hoof to help him up.
  123. >”Gahh. Thanks. I tripped over one of the chickens when they saw me with their food. I don’t think either of us were injured in the fall, though it made this mess I’ve got to clean up.”
  124. >You looked over to the seed he spilled.
  125. >Wasn’t that much, hay, it would’ve filled barely one third of the feed containers he needed to pour in.
  126. “It ain’t no biggie Anon. Y’all didn’t make too much of a mess. Ah’ll help you clean it up and then get back to workin’.”
  127. >”Uh, no, I’m fine. I can do this myself, don’t want to bother you.”
  128. “You sure? It’s just a few large cup fulls.”
  129. >”Yea I’m fine. I think I’ve got it from here.”
  130. “Alright Anon, if you insist. Ah’ll get back to apple buckin’. Ah’ll check on ya in a bit.”
  131. >”Alright, thanks AJ.”
  132. >You smiled and walked back to where you left Big Mac.
  133. >Fucking machine was already done with that section of trees and getting ready to go to the next spot.
  134. >”All good?”
  135. “Yep! Gotta say, it was actually pretty funny when ah showed up. Poor monkey got himself covered in chicken seed after he accidentally tripped over one of the hens. Offered to help him clean up the mess but he said he was fine.”
  136. >Your brother nodded and loaded the last of the barrels onto the cart.
  137. “Yep, Ah’m sure he’ll be alright from now on th-”
  138. >CRASH
  139. >You turned your head back over to the chicken coop and sighed.
  140. “All right then. He may need some help.”
  141. >Though, when you turned up, to see that the chickens have managed to drag their feed trays out of the shed and threw them at Anon, he decline help again.
  142. >So you had your laugh, went back over to Big Mac, only to hear another swear from Anon, making you go back and check on him.
  143. >This happened on and off all day.
  144. >What ever it was, either one of the animals would start chasing him down trying to bite him, or he had trouble finding a bucket to put the milk in, (you had to explain to Anon how, yes, the cows could talk, and no didn’t mind being milked) he’d have some trouble.
  145. >You’d offer help, but he declined every offer.
  146. >It began to get annoying after a while.
  147. >Running back and forth between Anon and work started to get tiring, especially if Anon wasn’t going to accept your help.
  148. >You’d stop checking on him, but every time there would be a loud crash or some...unusual cursing, you’d be afraid he’d hurt himself.
  149. >CRASH
  150. >Run and help
  151. >BANG
  152. >Run and help
  153. >”FUCKING SHIT!”
  154. >Run and…
  155. >”Gah! Damn it!”
  156. >Oh come on you couldn’t even finish your thought in time.
  157. >Eventually you reached your limit.
  158. >Another fucking loud crash.
  159. “CONSARN IT! Look, Big Mac, go and fetch Applebloom and Granny, Anon has turned down every offer of help, well not now!”
  160. >You made your way, well, stomped is more accurate, to the barn.
  161. >You didn’t need to try and figure out where he was.
  162. >He some how managed to finish the last two tasks you gave him, feed the animals, and milk the cows, he had to be in the barn about the shuck the corn.
  163. >You bucked the door in, which made Anon jump.
  164. >”AH! Oh...hey AJ.”
  165. >Anon was sitting besides a thin beam which has snapped and landed on his head.
  166. >You sighed and walked up.
  167. “Look Anon, Ah-”
  168. >”Apple Jack really, I don’t want to get in the way of your work, you don’t have to keep checking up on me I real-”
  169. “DAMN IT ANON SHUT UP!”
  170. >Anon clasped his hands over his mouth and nodded.
  171. >You sighed and took off your hat.
  172. >”Anon look, Ah have been workin’ my hindquarters off to try and help you. Now when I first met ya, I was suspicious, I ain’t gonna lie, ain’t in my nature to as Element of Honesty and all. Though, despite my doubts, you’re a friend of Twilight’s, and she vouched for ya up and down.”
  173. >”Well, I uh...”
  174. “I ain’t done yet. Ah thought a good day’s work on the farm would help ya Anon. But it seems things have gone south. The point was to get some good bondin’ and socializin’ done through some hard work, but I put you on your own, and occupied myself with other matters. So, whether or not you just have dumb luck with the animals and uh...structural integrity on the farm,”
  175. >You looked at the thin beam that hit Anon.
  176. >Another fucking thing to fix.
  177. “or you are just really bad at farm work, Ah aim to help ya. And so do my family.”
  178. >As if on queue the rest of your family came in behind you.
  179. >Weird how shit like that happens all the time.
  180. “Anon, we’re gonna help ya, whether you like it or not.”
  181. >Anon looked away from you, still rubbing his head.
  182. >He couldn’t help but look guilty for the way he’s been ignoring your help.
  183. >You walk over and offer a hoof to help him up, which he takes.
  184. >You help him up.
  185. >Anon sighed.
  186. >”Thanks Apple Jack, sorry I kept turning you down.”
  187. “All that sorry talk can wait Anon, we have work to do. And hay, with you helpin’ out we can get all that corn done in no time!”
  188. >And so you all set to work.
  189. >Forming a sort of semi-circle and shucking the corn.
  190. >A good two hours later it had gotten dark.
  191. >That meant dinner time.
  192. >Granny had left in the middle of the work to make dinner for you all.
  193. >You, Big Mac, Applebloom, and Anon were all cleaned up, well as clean as you all could get with out a shower, and at the table in lickity split.
  194. >All your favorite foods. A nice apple salad, some apple sauce, apple casarole, and for desert?
  195. >Oh sweet Celestia and Luna yes!
  196. >Apple fritters.
  197. >You were drooling at the sight of it all.
  198. >”You all sure do love Apples.”
  199. “Of course we do! We are Apples after all!”
  200. >”Suppose you’re correct.”
  201. >Applebloom scooted her chair right next to Anon.
  202. >”So Anon! I asked you a question earlier!”
  203. >”Oh! What was that again?”
  204. >”Do Humans get cutie marks?”
  205. >”Ah! I see, those are the designs on your flanks right?”
  206. >Applebloom nodded her head.
  207. >”Uhm, no. I mean we can get tattoos, but nothing like what those cutie marks are.”
  208. >”What’s a tattoo? Does it tell you what your special talent is?”
  209. >Anon grabbed a bowl passed to him and filled his plate and passed it on to Big Mac.
  210. >”Heh, god help us if that were the case. Well, some people will get a tattoo the relates to a hobby or profession they have. But you can get a tattoo of anything, anywhere on your body.”
  211. >Applebloom’s eyes blew up.
  212. >You were also intrigued.
  213. “That sounds like it’d be askin’ for trouble. And these are permanent? Like cutie marks?”
  214. >”Yea, well you can get them removed, but it probably hurts worse than getting one.”
  215. “Why would it hurt?”
  216. >”Uhm...basically, a tattoo is a drawing, and the drawing is made by putting ink in a mechanical pen and drawing on the skin. Stabbing...into you’re uh...you get it.”
  217. “Now why the hay would you do that for your self?”
  218. >Anon shrugged.
  219. >”Some people have some pretty cool looking tattoos. Some have so many they are probably used to the pain of getting one.”
  220. “Little fillies can’t get these can they?”
  221. >”Not in parts of the world that are well off.”
  222. >”Awwwww.” Applebloom whined.
  223. >Anon smiled at Applebloom.
  224. >”Don’t worry Applebloom, you’ll get yours someday I’m sure. And trust me, you don’t want a tattoo.”
  225. >”Why not?”
  226. “Applebloom even if they had those here, ya ain’t getting one.”
  227. >Your little sister pouted.
  228. >”Woah, hey calm down girl.”
  229. >You looked over to Anon and saw Winona wagging her tail and trying to jump up onto Anon’s lap.
  230. “Aww, that’s just Winona, looks like she likes you.”
  231. >”You sure? Every other animal on the farm besides the cows wanted to eat me alive.”
  232. >You chuckled.
  233. “Naw, Winona is a sweet heart!”
  234. >Your dog finally jumped up onto Anon’s lap and barked.
  235. >”Aw, she is cute I guess.”
  236. >He places one of his hands on her head and starts to scratch behind her ear.
  237. >She’s really getting into it.
  238. >”Did yu haf a dfog back-f home F-anon?”
  239. >Fuckin Applebloom talking with her mouth full again.
  240. >”I did...once. When I first moved out of my mom’s house I found a stray and took him in. Really helped through some of my tougher times.”
  241. >Anon seemed to have forgotten about his food and focused more of his attention on Winona.
  242. >”He was a great dog. But I got uh...really...busy with my self. To the point where I started to neglect him. While it hurt to do so, I gave him away to a shelter, better him living a happy life than dying with me.”
  243. >Anon’s full attention was on Winona now and you had the feeling he was just beginning to monologue.
  244. >”He didn’t want to go, he really really wanted to stay with me. And he really did get me through some tough time’s. Sadly, staying with me just meant more pain for him, and because it had become increasingly difficult to pay attention to him I had to let him go...”
  245. >Anon let his hands drop to his sides and his head droop.
  246. >Winona getting up close and giving him little licks on his face.
  247. >”Aww, Ah’m sorry Anon. He sounded like a good doggie.”
  248. >Applebloom pat his arm.
  249. >Sweet fucking Celestia. That was depressing.
  250. >You heard about him coming from a bad place, and yea he seemed sad, but by the damn maker, holy shit.
  251. >Think fast, this is getting awkward and Big Mac and Granny seem to…
  252. >Where’s Big Mac?
  253. >You see him running into his room...crying.
  254. >The only Stallion in this house and Granny had bigger nuts than him.
  255. >Anyways, make it better.
  256. “Anon, Ah’m awfully sorry to hear that. Listen, so long ya don’t kidnap her, you’re free to come and play with Winona any time ya want!”
  257. >”Oh you don-...Thanks AJ I really appreciate that. Sorry to ruin the mood by the way.”
  258. “Don’t even mention it.”
  259. >”No, I really am. I’ve probably been a stress all day. Let me make it up to you.”
  260. “It’s really fine. But what do ya have in mind?”
  261. >Anon looked over to your guitar in the corner of the room.
  262. >”Mind if I borrow that for a second?”
  263. >That’s when you found Granny, your siblings, and yourself sitting in front of Anon and listening to him play some of his music.
  264. >It wasn’t the happiest music you’ve heard. But, coming from Anon, that’s probably to be expected.
  265. >Buck it. Even if the music wasn’t happy, it was calming, good, and you a blanket around you, the only light in the room was the fire, and a nice warm fritter you were nibbling on in front of you.
  266. >All and all, today was a fuckin great day.
  267.  
  268. ~~
  269.  
  270. “Now, where is he?”
  271. >You were finally done with handling the nightmares for tonight.
  272. >A mare in Trottingham was devastated learning her Stallion was having an affair with her sister and she was dreaming she was in a cage being tortured by him.
  273. >It’s so unfortunate when things like this happened.
  274. >But you helped ease her, and put her on the right path, giving her the courage to stand up to both her mate and her sister in confrontation, and the strength to carry on for her self.
  275. >Seeing ponies challenging their fears and combating them head on filled you with determination and brought a sense of meaning to your eternal life.
  276. >But that was the last nightmare for tonight, well, in a way.
  277. >You walked past the dream orbs, each one showing you the dream or nightmare a pony was having, looking for a certain alien creature.
  278. “Ah! There he is!”
  279. >On the ground of the dream realm slept Anonymous.
  280. >You make our way to him, careful not to wake him up too early or suddenly.
  281. >You think you finally have a way to wake him up and keep him in the dream realm.
  282. >You promised to help him with the nightmares he’s been having, which thanks to the work of Twilight Sparkle and her friends have gotten a lot more tame, though it was still up to you to make sure he didn’t suffer while he slept.
  283. >You stop inches away from his slumbering body and carefully nudge him with your muzzle.
  284. >He moved and grunted a bit.
  285. >You froze.
  286. >Don’t wake up in the waking realm, don’t wake up in the waking realm don’t…
  287. >He turned over and propt himself up on his elbows.
  288. >Stabilizing himself he put a hand to his head and groaned.
  289. >”Ughhhh, wha?”
  290. >His eyes fluttered open.
  291. >Huzzah! Success!
  292. >”Luna? That you? Where am I?”
  293. >You smiled and leaned your neck down so that your muzzle was close to his ear and whispered.
  294. “Yes, it is us, and don’t strain yourself too hard Anonymous, you are in our dream realm.”
  295. >He sat him self up and rubbed the sleep from his eyes yawning.
  296. >He took a good look at you and then around him.
  297. >”Woahhh! You come here every night?”
  298. “That is correct, and so do you Anonymous, though you are asleep for the duration of your short stays.”
  299. >Anon squinted at you, still trying to process what you said with his brain half awake.
  300. >”What? Why am I here?”
  301. >You shrugged.
  302. “We don’t know, that’s what we’ve been trying to discover as well.”
  303. >Anon stretched and crossed his legs, smacking his lips whilst doing so.
  304. >”Huh. So, why did you wake me up here then? I didn’t even know I came here while I slept.”
  305. “We believe having you awake in our dream realm would help us in our task to help rid you of those awful nightmares you have been plagued with. Plus, it’s a perfect way to interact with you with out traveling all the way to Ponyville!”
  306. >”Oh...wait, couldn’t you just teleport or fly?”
  307. >You chuckled.
  308. >They really didn’t have magic where he was from did they?
  309. “We could, Anonymous, however such a distance even for an Alicorn would take a days flight, or use up a considerable amount of our magic reserves. While we could use our chariots which cut the time from a days flight to hours, our guards usually have to rest a day before taking back off, and the life of a princess is a busy one.”
  310. >Anon nodded.
  311. >”I see then. Well, in that case, how do you suppose I help you with my nightmares in this...dreamscape?”
  312. >”Dream realm. And we thought we could discuss these nightmares you’ve been having together since you seem to be more open to us about them!”
  313. >Anon winced.
  314. >”I uh...I do feel more comfortable talking to you about my problems, although my dreams are still something I can’t talk about. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to disappoint you or anything.”
  315. >You shook your head.
  316. “Not at all Anonymous. We understand, it was difficult to discuss our troubles with our sister even after Night Mare Moon was vanquished.”
  317. >You lie down next to Anon, getting yourself comfortable as well.
  318. “Besides, we are friends Anonymous, are we not? We can help you with that by just having conversation, about anything you want.”
  319. >”Well...in that case, to start, you don’t have to keep doing that.”
  320. >You blinked.
  321. “Doing what?”
  322. >”The whole royal ‘we’ business, and you don’t have say my full name like that. Just Anon is fine.”
  323. “Oh! We-uhh...I mean, I understand.”
  324. >”Good. Well, I don’t have anything to talk about really.”
  325. “How about your progress in Ponyville?”
  326. >”Oh. Hm. Well, it’s going okay I suppose. The Apple family was really nice. I tripped over a chicken and got covered in birdseed, and I made Twilight hyperventilate when I put a book in the wrong section of her library.”
  327. >You couldn’t help but laugh at those latter two points.
  328. >Imagining Anon covered in farm hens and seeds, and him giving Twilight Sparkle a miniature panic attack was an amusing thought.
  329. >”I’m beginning to open up more as well! It was kind of awkward, and I may have ruined their dinner, but I was able to open up more about my past.”
  330. >You were still trying to contain the chuckles from imagining the Anonymous chicken pile.
  331. “Haha, yes I am very pleased to hear all of this. Ahem. Opening up can be a very difficult thing to do for those of us with more abrasive pasts.”
  332. >”What about yours?”
  333. >You scrunched your muzzle and looked up at no where in particular.
  334. >Well, you suppose you could reveal more about your self.
  335. >Your...feelings.
  336. >You shuttered. Feelings was something you seldom spoke about, though you suppose the occasion was appropriate.
  337. “Well, I suppose I can start with when I was younger. A lot younger, just turning 500 as a matter of fact.”
  338. >”How young.” Anon smirked.
  339. >You rolled your eyes and gave him a grin back.
  340. 500 is a lower number than 9,000
  341. >”Alright, I suppose you’re correct.”
  342. “That was when I first started to to have hints of jealousy towards my older sister. You’ve heard the official story, and it isn’t dishonest, though, it does leave out more personal details.”
  343. >”Well, if they are personal it makes more sense to leave it out I suppose.”
  344. “Yes, but it misses the small things. The most important of things in our lives hinge on some of the smallest things Anon. These small things would be how boastful she was, or how in our youth we would constantly tease each other. Small silly things I’d partake in as well. But it was...insulting, when ponies would not bow to you or even give formal greetings because they have no idea who you are. It felt...lonely. Extremely lonely.”
  345. >You sighed as you thought back to all the times Tia would do all those small annoying things that built up over time.
  346. >The times she pranked you in front of court.
  347. >The times she talk with out end on how the ponies loved her sun.
  348. >How she was the second monarch.
  349. >She’s matured since then of course. Apologized.
  350. >You both have.
  351. >You tried not to let them get to you, but you never had any pony to talk to about it.
  352. >You had her but, she was the problem.
  353. >”I can understand that. I never had siblings, but I’ve done a lot of things I feel guilty over. Never had anyone to express my problems to when I was much younger. When I did open up to other kids, I was mocked and harassed. I’d run to my mom or dad, when he was still alive. They listened, but never understood the problems I faced. They’d speak to teachers and counselors but they seemed to only scorn the kids while they did it, and didn’t solve anything underlying. I was terrified of the teachers. They seemed so big to me, and their smiles so fake. Always wanting me to ‘open up.’”
  354. >You haven’t had a teacher since Starswirl. Hard to relate exactly, but you could feel the same problem was there. Mockery and no one there to truly understand or comfort you.
  355. >You were beginning to really like Anon.
  356. >At first it was strange how he was beginning to open up just because you two had commonalities of loneliness and isolation.
  357. >But it felt good to discuss these things with someone.
  358. >Never thought it’d be with a myth, but nicer than nothing. Extremely so.
  359. >The night carried on, lost in conversation with Anon in stories of your youths and how both of you felt relieved to have SOMEONE who would not only listen, but understand.
  360. >You can’t fault your sister for not understanding everything.
  361. >But with out that understanding, some of the help she offered didn’t help at all, or missed the point entirely.
  362. >When it was time to raise the moon and for Anon to awake, he hugged you, which caught you off guard at first, but a hug you were eager to return.
  363. >It was hard to describe the emotion you felt.
  364. >You just knew it was a hug of understanding, one of validity,
  365. >A hug that said, “I know what you go through because I’ve lived it.”
  366. >You slept exceptionally well that night. In the comforting knowledge you finally found someone that both cared, and knew, what you felt.
  367.  
  368. ~~~~
  369.  
  370. >You dreaded the day ahead of you.
  371. >It was your turn to welcome and make friends with that...THING Twilight brought home.
  372. >You tried not to be a judgmental mare, though seeing him for the first time was appalling.
  373. >His mane was a mess, his eyes were sunken in, he was covered in bruises and scrapes.
  374. >AND HIS OUTFIT!
  375. >He was dressed in what can only be described as rags! And they were so filthy.
  376. >He wore a ghastly hoodie that was stained a light red in some places, Celestia forbid you dwell on what that could possibly be given his wounds.
  377. >His denim pants were caked in mud and other dark splotches you, again, didn’t want to dwell on what that could possibly be.
  378. >He gave you bide vibrations.
  379. >You could feel something was wrong with him, you just didn’t know what.
  380. >You heard a knocking at the door.
  381. >Fuck, that must be him.
  382. >Thankfully you sent Sweetie Bell to play with her friends today, she wouldn’t have to meet the beast.
  383. >You walked up to the door and took a deep breath.
  384. >Come on Rarity, you are the Element of Generosity.
  385. >If you can give a water beast your tail to fix his mustache, then you can greet this weird bald primate too.
  386. >Although at least the serpent did have a dazzling mustache.
  387. >You opened the door, and stared in shocking horror at what you saw.
  388. >”Hey there Rarity. I was told I’d be spending the day with you today?”
  389. >What ever they did to him at Sweet Apple Acres, it couldn’t have been good.
  390. >His clothes were caked in mud and, was that?
  391. >You sniffed the his clothes.
  392. >Oh good heavens it is. That stuff only belongs in gardens not clothes.
  393. >Did he not clean himself?
  394. >His hair and skin seem fine today, but his clothing?
  395. “A-ah. Yes, darling, that’s r-right. May I ask what in the heavens happened to you?”
  396. >”Oh! My clothes? Yea, they got pretty dirty on Apple Jack’s farm. Really funny stories on how all this happened.”
  397. “Well, I’m not going to be doing anything with you until we get you cleaned up! No offense ‘a-nanny-mouse’, but I can’t let myse-, uhm, I can’t let YOU go out and look like that!”
  398. >”It’s Anonymous, and uh, what do you suppose I do with them? I cleaned them, best I could anyway. They are my only pair of clothes I had here.”
  399. “How awful! Nope! This won’t do, you are coming in and we are going to set you up with something better immediately!”
  400. >”Are you sure abou-WOAH!”
  401. >You didn’t even finish, you grabbed him and dragged him inside.
  402. >”Uh, Rarity, what are you about to do?”
  403. “I’m about to take those horrid rags off and clean you up!”
  404. >Anon pulled himself from your reach.
  405. >”AH! Nononononono, that’s fine, really, you don’t have to strip me!”
  406. “A-naughty-moose, really, yo-”
  407. >”Anonymous, Rarity.”
  408. “My apologies, Anonymous, you really shouldn’t be so embarrassed, especially with what you have on now. I’ve measured NUMEROUS stallions. You’ll be happy to know that they are all happy with my work.!”
  409. >”Rarity, my kind are very...uh, particular about keeping ourselves covered in a certain way. I’m also a very private person on top of that.”
  410. >You dead panned.
  411. >Never mind him being an ape, NO ONE should be in this wardrobe.
  412. >And he was making this all very difficult.
  413. >With a deep breath, you negotiated with him.
  414. “Alright...Anonymous, how’s about we start over a little bit. I can see that you are in a very unfortunate situation regarding your hygiene and wardrobe. I propose that today, I clean and mend your clothing, as well as make you some new articles as well, and take you on a spa day!”
  415. >”I...uhm. I guess that’s okay? I don’t want to get naked in front of you though.”
  416. “Understood. Now please, let me take some basic measurements, because those clothes you have on fit you horribly, and take a shower. Down the hall over there and to the right.”
  417. >”I took a shower alrea-”
  418. >You glared him a glare of a thousand glares.
  419. >”Alright alright, fine, I’ll do it.”
  420. >You took your measurements, and his clothing after he undressed behind the shower curtain and got to work.
  421. >With how dirty he looked you expected a long shower from him, not that you’d need anything longer.
  422. >You were damn good at your job and could at least get these clothes cleaned to a workable level, mended, and start on your first pair of his clothes before he got out.
  423. >After you were done with today, he’ll have a different ensemble for every day of the week!
  424. >Before long, Anonymous was finally out of the shower with a towel wrapped around his waist.
  425. >”Uhh, Rarity, you done with my clothes yet?”
  426. “Hm? Oh of course, they are right over there.”
  427. >You waived your free hoof over to the couch, never taking your eyes off your work.
  428. >Every stitch had it’s place.
  429. >He walks over and inspects his hoodie.
  430. >”Wow! You did a really good job, all the holes are gone and it looks as clean as the day I got it.”
  431. “You’re too kind darling, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Just a deep cleaning spell and some sewing.”
  432. >”Well, definitely something I can’t do in the time it took you.”
  433. “I appreciate your words darling, but if I’m going to finish your new clothing I’m going to need some concentration.”
  434. >”Oh, sorry. I’ll just get dressed and do, uhm, what ever I guess.”
  435. “Mm hmm, you do that.”
  436. >You were keeping your eyes on the stitching.
  437. >You didn’t work on denim too often.
  438. >Not unless you were making something for Apple Jack. It was a very firm material fresh, and one you didn’t have a lot of. Had to make it count.
  439. >All of this not to mention Anonymous’ proportions.
  440. >It was so...different.
  441. >Nothing too drastic, his joints bent and shoulders were broad much in the same way Spike’s were.
  442. >But he was a far bigger creature, and his legs where thicker than his arms.
  443. >Definitely a Primate.
  444. >Anon seemed to pull it off though, you couldn’t quite pin how but, after being with him for a minute or two, you just got used to the way he looked.
  445. >More on the scrawny side, or maybe that was normal for humans, but looked okay none the less.
  446. >Just a little plain.
  447. >You carried on.
  448. >More stitching.
  449. >More cutting.
  450. >More measuring.
  451. >More...fuck, you didn’t mean to do that.
  452. >You fucked up on the seem near the ankle of one of the pairs of pants you were working on.
  453. >You let out a huff and stomped your hoof on the ground.
  454. >You looked over at your work.
  455. >You got a lot done, and this little mess up was an easy fix if anything.
  456. >But you were exhausted. Time for a break.
  457. >You closed your glasses and headed over to the back garden, stopping getting your self a glass of iced lemonade before continuing.
  458. >Anonymous was sitting in the seat across from where you usually sat when you relaxed in your garden.
  459. >You noticed a cigarette in his mouth.
  460. “Anonymous! Are you smoking a cigarette?”
  461. >”Wha? Oh! Rarity, yea I am. I’m sorry, I should have asked first if smoking here was okay wit-”
  462. “Could I have one as well?”
  463. >Anon was taken back a little bit from your question.
  464. >”Uh...you smoke?”
  465. “Yes, I know, a pony like me who cares so much about her looks and health should stay as far away as she could from the habit. However work can get very overwhelming sometimes and a nice smoke calms the nerves. We all have our vices after all.”
  466. >”I suppose so. Here.”
  467. >Anon takes out a cigarette and hands it out.
  468. >You envelope it in your aura and sniff it.
  469. “Eugh! Oh my! This is a horrible quality! Where in Equestria did you get this?”
  470. >”These are actually my smokes from back home. Camel isn’t the best brand but it’s not what I care about.”
  471. “Oh no darling, I’m going to fetch you some high quality tobacco. Sit here one second.”
  472. >You go inside and fetch your box of Equestrian Spirits and head back out to Anon, who was still inhaling on his cigarette.
  473. “Darling snuff that out, if we’re going to ruin our lungs we should at least do it with class.”
  474. >”Heh. Alright fine.”
  475. >He put out the cigarette on the ground and took a new one from your box.
  476. >You pull out your opera long cigarette holder and put one of your own in, using your magic to light it.
  477. >Anon pulls out his own lighter to light his.
  478. >Both of you inhale on the smoke and let out a content sigh.
  479. “Well, what do you think?”
  480. >”Hm? Oh, I guess it’s better. I never smoked for the taste or whatever.”
  481. “No one does darling. At least I hope not. But if you are going to relax it should be a good experience all around.”
  482. >”I can understand that. But smoking is never a good experience for me. I don’t use it to feel relaxed after a long days work, or even smoke them because I’m addicted. Although I’m sure I am. I smoke them to just forget about my problems.”
  483. “Well, valid enough I suppose. Just like our vices, we all have our problems.”
  484. >You glance over at Anon. He’s slouched in his seat and just staring at the cigarette in his hand, letting it burn.
  485. “My mother for one disagrees. Love the mare to death, but she can be a real pain in the flank if you know what I mean?”
  486. >Anon looked over and sat up.
  487. >”Huh? Oh yea, I suppose so. I probably started smoking because of my mother.”
  488. “That uh, sounds very awful.”
  489. >”I don’t blame her. I can’t blame her, she started the same reason I did.”
  490. “To forget?”
  491. >”Yea.”
  492. >You took another deep breath from your cigarette holder and blew the smoke out your nose.
  493. >The nicotine was starting to do its job and you began to feel like all the stress was being lifted from you.
  494. >You hummed a sweet hum and replaced the cigarette in your holder with a new one.
  495. >You looked over to Anon and used your magic to levitate him the box to offer him another one, which he accepts.
  496. >”I should probably elaborate.”
  497. “You don’t need to dear, I understand, some ponies, or humans in this case, just need something to take the edge off.”
  498. >”See that’s also the problem.”
  499. >You glanced at Anon with a curious look. Neither of you had really been making eye contact, but now your interest has been peaked.
  500. >Anon re-positioned him self so that his body was facing towards you.
  501. >”Do you mind if I tell you some stuff? I know you’re just trying to relax but it feels very...liberating to let my problems off my chest.”
  502. “Well, Twilight did intend this day for us to bond, so I don’t see any problem in that. Go ahead, what do you have to say.”
  503. >Anon sat back again and turned his body away slightly.
  504. >”My parents, weren’t bad parents, and I loved them with all my heart, but I definitely had my issues.”
  505. >He took another drag from his cigarette.
  506. >”My dad, was always busy with work, and whenever he got home, he’d just want to relax. He never hit me, or beat me, or did any of that, he was just always distant. He had to work at least two jobs to keep us in our home.”
  507. “Hm! Well, what was bad about him? From your tone I’m assuming he did something wrong?”
  508. >”Well, he didn’t really. It’s what he didn’t do. It was probably just as hard on him. Now that I meditate back on all of this, I’m realizing now he probably just thought he needed to make it through this little rough patch in life and then he could finally enjoy his family.”
  509. “Well, did that rough patch come to an end?”
  510. >”For him...a quick one too. Stroke, in the shower.”
  511. >Oh no…
  512. “Oh...oh darling I’m so sorry to hear!”
  513. >”It’s fine, I was really young, and again he was very distant and tired all the time. The memories I do have were good. It really fucked up my mom though.”
  514. “Oh I could only imagine! Losing a husband so quickly and with a foal of her own must’ve been devastating.”
  515. >”Well, she turned to smoking and drinking a lot. She had to take up a lot of working just to feed the two of us and we had to move into a shabby apartment. She dooted on me quite a lot in those days. She was emotionally unstable, having multiple break downs a week.”
  516. >You placed both your hooves on Anon’s arm
  517. >”Yea, she was probably scared to loose the only other family member she had left. I found all the attention to get very annoying though.”
  518. >Anon buried his face into his hands.
  519. >”When I grew up I contacted her less and less, though I still called every week to see how she was doing. She loved those calls.”
  520. >Goodness, you could see what Twilight was saying. He definitely hasn’t had a happy upbringing.
  521. >”Eventually, she got sick. I couldn’t bring myself to visit her on some days...then one day...she...”
  522. >Tears were forming in the eyes of both of you now.
  523. >This was all dreadful to hear.
  524. “You don’t have to finish darling, I think I get it.”
  525. >Anon pulled you in close for a tight hug. You could feel his tears making your coat wet.
  526. >Be strong Rarity, you’ve let some tears drop, but bawling isn’t something a lady would do in this situ-
  527. >”I wasn’t even there, she went without anyone besides the nurses by her side.”
  528. >Fuck
  529. >There goes being a lady.
  530. >You were a young sobbing filly in his arms.
  531. >You wrapped your forelegs around Anonymous as tight as you could.
  532. >Trying to console him while you were hiccuping through sobs of your own.
  533. “I-it’s fine darling, y-you, you don’t need to continue.”
  534. >The two of you held the embrace for what felt like hours before Anon released the hug.
  535. >Wiping the tears from his eyes he kept his head lowered and sighed.
  536. >”That’s something I don’t think I ever got over...thank you...I’m sorry you had to hear all that.”
  537. “Anon, don’t be silly. I’d give up everyday to listen to your problems if it helped get these horrible feelings off your chest!”
  538. >”You couldn’t possibly mean that do you?”
  539. “Absurd! I couldn’t make a statement more true if I were Applejack!”
  540. >”Thanks Rarity. Sorry I made today a little awkward.”
  541. “Absolutely not! I must be honest Anon, I was slightly dreading having you come over, but hearing about your problems helped break any preconceived notions I may have had of you. I couldn’t have possibly known the help you needed with out you asking.”
  542. >You wiped more of the mascara running down your cheek away with a hoof.
  543. “In fact, I should probably get started again on those pants of yours. They will be just the things you need to feel comfortable.”
  544. >”You never really had to do that Rarity. I don’t even know how I’ll pay you.”
  545. “Don’t think about it. I’ll be doing it for free.”
  546. >”What? Rarity you don’t-”
  547. “Ah! I won’t be hearing it. I AM the Element of Generosity after all.”
  548. >You gave him smug smile.
  549. >He wouldn’t be arguing out of this.
  550. >”I...hm. Thank you, that means a lot to me.”
  551. “Of course darling! Although, if you helped me with some of this, we could still make it to the spa.”
  552. >”Of course tell me what I need to do for you and I’ll get it done. Hopefully with less animals chasing me.”
  553. >You snickered at that.
  554. “Of course not, my cat Opal isn’t even here this week.”
  555. >”Well, sounds good.”
  556. >And with that, the rest of the day flew by. Especially at the Spa.
  557. >By the time you two left, Anon looked more rejuvenated than ever, that bags under his eyes even seemed to be nothing more than a few dark circles.
  558. >You waived good bye to him with a wide smile on your face and made it back to the boutique in time to greet Sweetie Bell who had just come back from doing Celestia knows what for her cutie mark.
  559. >Anon really wasn’t such a bad guy after all. You’d have to remember to tell that to Rainbow Dash.
  560. >As you were getting ready for the end of the night, you set yourself up some ink, quill, and paper.
  561. >By candle light, you began writing, a lonely tear escaped your eye.
  562. “Dearest mother...”
  563.  
  564. ~~
  565.  
  566. >You paced your way around the library, waiting for the next letter from Luna to arrive.
  567. >You had been discussing with her for the past few days about Anon and his nightmares.
  568. >They weren’t as bad as the first few nights he arrived here in Equestria, but they definitely were NOT getting better either.
  569. >Princess Luna wrote to you saying that she has found a way to wake Anon up in the dream realm without waking him up in the waking realm, but whenever she approaches Anon, he seems to be tossing and turning as if in a struggle.
  570. >Neither of you know what’s going on. You two don’t why Anon is in the dream realm, or how he could be having nightmares with out a bubble.
  571. >Except, maybe one of you did. Princess Luna had a hypothesis, though she said she needed to do a little bit of rereading on the subject to figure this out.
  572. >And now you were waiting for a letter back from her. She said she’d send another one within the night.
  573. >You’ve been walking in circles for almost an hour now.
  574. >Your hair is frizzy, your eyes were heavy, you could smell your body odor, having taken little time through out the few days to even wash properly, maybe just brush your teeth and mane, but that was about it.
  575. >You were on the cusp though, you could feel it.
  576. >Certainly the princess’ hypothesis would point you in the right direction, if not be entirely correct.
  577. >You could hear the pitter patter of tiny feet running down the stairs from your room.
  578. >”Twilight!” Spike called to you.
  579. >”A letter came from Princess Luna!”
  580. “Perfect, let me see.”
  581. >You enveloped the parchment in your aura and brought it up to you.
  582. >You broke the seal and began to read.
  583. >Hm.
  584. >A little strange.
  585. >You have a vague understanding of what she is talking about here, though you don’t fully understand what they had to do with Anon and his nightmares.
  586. >The note reads:
  587. ”Dear Twilight Sparkle, We have read up on what we believe to be at the heart of this issue, and while it appears to not make any sense, there is nothing wrong with exploring the possibility. You see, a pony’s dream is within their own consciousness, when asleep, their consciousness must go somewhere. That somewhere as you know is the dream realm, a metaphysical dimension for the conscious mind. Imagine the physical world as a piece of film, and the conscious world as a source of light passing through it, and you may understand the general idea. Our minds only act as a vessel for our conscious selves. This consciousness still has an origin however, and stays with our conscious. In most creatures this is within the heart. The heart is the source of our consciousness when projected into the physical world while a pony is awake. We bring this up because in our talks and studies of Anonymous, we can’t seem to find HIS source. Only his consciousness. This maybe a quirk of the dream realm, but I implore you that whenever the time is opportune, use your magic to check and see if Anon’s source of consciousness is in his heart. If we know where his source is, we can use it to help him. I’m sure the spell to do this is in the second volume of ‘Intermediate spell casting.’ I wish you luck. ~Princess Luna.”
  588. >Literally what?
  589. >Yea you know about the relationship about the heart and mind and its connection to consciousness and it’s source but why exactly is she bringing this up?
  590. >It should only matter if he were UNCONSCIOUS, at least, the only time you read about this being the case was when patients are being treated in hospital.
  591. >Do dreams come from this source too?
  592. >Strange, but intriguing!
  593. >It was at this moment you were pulled from your philosophical pondering.
  594. >The front door opened and you could hear a sigh escape someone’s lips.
  595. “Ah! Anonymous, you’re home! How was your day with rarity?”
  596. >”Evening Twi, it went fine. She sewed me some new clothes, and even paid for a spa day for both of us. I freaked out the owners at first, but they seemed to calm down after Rarity vouched for me. Heh, she must go there quite a bit.”
  597. “Hee hee, yea, the spa is a second home for that mare. Were you able to open up some more?”
  598. >”Yea, it felt great to get all of this stuff off my chest. You and your friends never had to do any of this, but I’m very thankful you all do.”
  599. >He threw his new outfits onto the couch and sat down across from you.
  600. >”It’s been helping me socialize a lot more.”
  601. >You smiled. Of course it was working, what couldn’t the magic of friendship solve?
  602. “I’m glad to hear all of that. Does this mean you still feel as sad as you used too?”
  603. >Anon sighed and leaned back, staring off somewhere nonspecific.
  604. >”Honestly Twi, I don’t think those feelings will ever go away. They’ve been easier to deal with though, I’ll give you that much, but there is still...something getting in the way. I think I know what it is, but I don’t know if I can come to terms with it.”
  605. >You canter over to the couch and sit down next to them.
  606. “Gosh, want to talk about it?”
  607. >Anon paused for a second, pondering the question, then shook his head.
  608. >”Maybe tomorrow. I’m honestly done with opening my heart up today, plus I don’t know how exactly I feel about saying anything about...that.”
  609. >You place a hoof on Anon’s arm.
  610. ”I understand. I’m happy we are all making a difference though, we’ve all gotten to know you pretty well after the past few weeks and want to see you through it.”
  611.  
  612. >”I’ll still never understand it...but I couldn’t be more grateful.”
  613. >Anon arched his back and stretched his arms.
  614. >With a yawn he picked up his clothing and headed for the room you let him stay in.
  615. >”Sorry to cut this chat so short Twilight, but helping Rarity finish my clothes was almost as exhausting as the farm work with Apple Jack, and that spa day was so relaxing. I’m turning in early.”
  616. “Oh, that’s fine Anon, you get some rest. I enjoyed the conversation.”
  617. >”Good night Twi.”
  618. “Good night!”
  619. >You smiled in his direction as he shut his door.
  620. >He was doing so much better, but at the same time you could tell there was still so much to do.
  621. >You could see the worry in his eyes when he was talking about his troubles.
  622. >Your mind drifted back to Luna’s letter.
  623. >Finding the source of Anon’s consciousness hm?
  624. >You needed to find that spell. You remember learning it, and used it once or twice helping some of the nurse ponies when they didn’t know it.
  625. >But that was so long ago.
  626. >Luna mentioned where you could find the instructions to cast it.
  627. “Spike!”
  628. >You called out to Spike upstairs, he peaked down from where the steps meet the ceiling.
  629. “I need your help finding a spell. I don’t know entirely what Princess Luna plans to do with this information, but we need to look for something inside Anon’s heart.”
  630. >”WHAT?!”
  631. >You face hoof’d.
  632. >Maybe you shouldn’t have phrased it like that…
  633.  
  634. ~~~~
  635.  
  636. >”You’re kidding?”
  637. >Anon stared up at you, waiting for a response.
  638. “I am not. My sister really did make her own little fortress out of nothing but cake in her bedroom one day. The palace chefs were not too pleased at this. I for one was rather impressed at the structural integrity. Seeing as it was made out of...well cake.”
  639. >Anon chuckled to himself hearing that.
  640. >Tonight was the fifth night you woke Anon up in the dream realm and you have gotten quite attached to him.
  641. >Underneath his depressing exterior you could find a relatable and interesting companion to talk too.
  642. >What ever was troubling either of you, the other would have the best way of dealing with it, or at least express understanding. Both of you felt the same about a lot, and had a lot of problems.
  643. >It’d even make you blush sometimes.
  644. >”Celestia didn’t make a pool filled with tea next did she?”
  645. >Anon had a sly smile growing on his face.
  646. “Oh she damn well nearly did. However the guards managed to convince her to stop once rumor spread that if she tried such a thing half of the staff would strike over all of the clean up work.”
  647. >Anon grabbed a hold of his sides as if they were at risk of flying off as he laughed at your story.
  648. >It got a chuckle out of you as well. The things Celestia would do sometimes just to mess with ponies. You’d think her worse than Discord.
  649. >After laughing for what seemed like a solid ten minutes, Anon looked up and smiled at you.
  650. >”You know Luna...you’re the first real friend I’ve had. At least one that feels this genuine.”
  651. “Is that so?”
  652. >”Yes, it is. I mean, I’ve had ‘acquaintances’, or people I’d talk to, but they weren’t friends. I couldn’t rely on them and I didn’t know them that well. You seem to understand me how ever, and when ever I need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to talk to, you seem to be there.”
  653. >You blushed. Truth be told, other than Celestia you couldn’t remember the last true friend you had.
  654. >You knew you had some, though those were thousands of years ago...and they are long gone now.
  655. “Thank you Anonymous that...really means a lot. I also can’t seem to remember a pony other than my sister I could call a true friend.”
  656. >Anon pulled you in for a hug which you were very eager to return.
  657. >”Well, I’m happy you feel the same way too Luna. It’s great we can do that for each other.”
  658. >Anonymous was moving to break the hug, but you wrapped your hooves around him tighter.
  659. >He ain’t getting away from this. It was too good of a hug to end now.
  660. >You may end up staying like this until it was ready for the sun to come up in fact.
  661. >Anon chuckled and surrendered to your effort to continue the hug, and he placed a hand on top of your head.
  662. >Yes, Anon would receive your hugs of friendship. And he was going to enjoy them as much as you did.
  663. >May the maker have mercy on any creature that would threaten such bond.
  664.  
  665. ~~~~
  666.  
  667. >You knocked on the door to Twilight’s library.
  668. “Hello? Is anypony home?”
  669. >You couldn’t get an answer.
  670. >It was your day to help settle this Anon guy in.
  671. >You had to admit that he was very suspicious at first, and you didn’t trust the guy.
  672. >But you couldn’t blame yourself.
  673. >Anypony’s first reaction to seeing a mythical creature from a violent race covered in bruises and blood stains wouldn’t be a positive one.
  674. >Though in the past few days he’s been here, he’s proven himself to actually be a pretty chill guy. Pinkie and Fluttershy keep talking about how nice he is, and even AJ and Rarity mentioned some pretty assuring things about him.
  675. >Plus, the more you looked at him, those battle scars made him look kind of bad ass.
  676. >You’d figure you could talk about where he got them maybe?
  677. >You really didn’t plan anything.
  678. >Planning is for nerds, and you were no nerd.
  679. >You knocked your hoof on the door again.
  680. ”Hellllooooooooo?”
  681. >Ugh, they must not be here.
  682. >Maybe they were at Sugar Cube Corner or somewhere getting lunch.
  683. >As you turned to walk away you heard the door behind you open.
  684. >”Hello? Rainbow Dash?”
  685. >You turned your head back to the sound calling your name.”
  686. >It was Anonymous, finally.
  687. “Yea! ‘Sup. Did I just wake you up?”
  688. >”Yea, I WAS asleep, but I suppose today is the day we hang out huh?”
  689. “Heck yea it is!”
  690. >You look behind him.
  691. “Uhm...where is Twilight?”
  692. >”She left a note in the kitchen, said she went to go buy some more quills or something.”
  693. “Oh. Lame.”
  694. >”I don’t know when she’ll be back. Note mentioned something about going to the book store to find some book they didn’t have here.”
  695. “LAMER!”
  696. >”Uh...we can start out day now I guess. What ever you want to do is fine.”
  697. “Cool! Follow me.”
  698. >”Alright, where are we going?”
  699. >Anon shut the door behind him.
  700. “Oh you’ll see.”
  701. >…
  702. >”What exactly is the point of this again?”
  703. >You snickered to your self.
  704. >You poked your head out from behind the bush.
  705. “Look over at that bit on the ground over there.”
  706. >Anon peeks his head out too.
  707. >”Yea, what about it?”
  708. >You pulled some glue from out of no where and showed it to Anon.
  709. “I glued the bit to paving, so when somepony comes to pick it up, they are going to be having a pretty hard time trying to get it.”
  710. >You continued to snicker to yourself.
  711. >You were a genius.
  712. >Imagining the look on whoever came across the bit trying to pick it up would probably be priceless.
  713. >”Oh. Okay I see. I guess.”
  714. “You guess? It’s going to be so hilarious seeing ponies getting angry over a bit they can’t pick up.”
  715. >”I’m sure it will. I guess I was just never a pranking kind of guy.”
  716. >You smirked.
  717. “In that case, your lucky to be with me. I’ll take you under my wing and show you the ways of the prank master.”
  718. >”Uhm. Thanks...I think?”
  719. “Don’t mention it.”
  720. >”What the!? Who’s the dweeb who did this?”
  721. >A voice was calling out from in front of the shrub.
  722. “Ha ha, we got one.”
  723. >You and Anon looked up from the shrub to see the poor passer by who fell folly to your clever ruse.
  724. >Your jaw dropped.
  725. >It couldn’t be! Why was she here?
  726. >”Uh...Rainbow, is that a griffon? Griffons are real here?”
  727. >You ignored Anon, your brow was too busy furrowing.
  728. >”UGH! Why can’t I pick this bit up?”
  729. >The griffon in question was pulling with all her might on the gold coin with out it budging.
  730. >During one big tug she pulled to hard and lost her grip sending her flying back.
  731. >”AHHHH! Screw it. If I find the dweeb who was dumb enough to glue a bit to the ground I’ll-”
  732. “You’re gonna what?”
  733. >You screamed over at her, drawing her attention over to you.
  734. >”Well! If it isn’t Rainbow Dash. Did you pull this stunt? Didn’t think you’d be dumb enough to stick valuable currency to the ground!”
  735. >Anon pulled on your wing.
  736. >”Uh, Rainbow? Who is that?”
  737. >You didn’t take your eyes off the griffon in question.
  738. “What are you doing in Ponyville Gilda?”
  739. >The Griffon smirked and walked up closer to you.
  740. >”As if it’s any of your business why I’m here.”
  741. “You said you didn’t need to be around us ‘dweebs’ last time you were here Gilda. Why don’t you just get lost?”
  742. >Gilda kept her smirk and blew the feathers out of her eyes.
  743. >”Like I’d listen to you.”
  744. >You two were giving each other death stares for the next few moments, Anon darting his eyes from you to Gilda in confusion.
  745. >”Uhm. I’m still not sure what’s going on here?”
  746. “What’s going on is that Gilda was about to say ‘Good bye’ and hit the road.”
  747. >Gilda eyes Anon.
  748. >”Ha, who’s the chimp Rainbow? New friend? First dweebs and now bald gorillas?”
  749. “Why don’t you just shut your mouth and leave? You’re nothing but trouble!”
  750. >”What ever dweeb. I have my own business to attend to anyways, I’d rather get that done and then leave as soon as possible. Don’t want to waste my time with you dorks any longer.”
  751. >Gilda snorted and spread her wings, taking off with a large flap and leaving behind a cloud of dirt and dust.
  752. >You kept your eye on her as she left, watching her take off and fly to where ever she needed to go.
  753. >Anon was busy coughing up all the dirt he breathed in from her take off.
  754. >”*cough cough* Ugh. What was that all about?”
  755. “Don’t mind her, that was just Gilda. Don’t hang around her Anon, she caused me and my friends a lot of trouble when she was here last.”
  756. >”I could sense the bad blood. What did she do?”
  757. “She was an old friend from Junior Speedsters who came to visit a while back. First time I see her in a while and she managed to prove our friendship was fake by pushing away all my friends just so she could hang out with some pony she thought she was cool with. Not to mention how she’d steal from the townponies here.”
  758. >”Sounds like a bitch to me.”
  759. “She is! Ugh, I don’t even remember why we were ever friends. And why is she even here? What business is so important she has to come to Ponyville to do it?”
  760. >”Beats me, but we are probably better off staying out of her hair...err, feathers.”
  761. >You glared in the direction Gilda flew off in.
  762. >You wanted to follow her and see what she was up too, but you didn’t want to drag Anon through all of that.
  763. >He was a cool guy, and you could both still do something. Even if Gilda ruined the mood.
  764. “You’re probably right. Yea, forget her. We won’t let some feather brain ruin our fun. Come on, let’s go get some milk shakes or something, I need a tasty snack to make up for the ruined prank.”
  765. >”Sounds fine by me I guess.”
  766. >As you two began to make your way over to Sugar Cube Corner you could hear the aggravated grunting of pony from behind you.
  767. >”Damn bit! Why are you stuck to the ground?”
  768. >Heh, okay, the prank wasn’t entirely ruined.
  769. >…
  770. >The frosted glass containing the delicious frosty snack slid over to you from across the bar.
  771. >Ah sweet nectar of the gods. Birthday cake milkshake with sprinkles.
  772. >Anon was sitting next to you with a cool glass of cola he was sipping on.
  773. “Ahhh! Much better, I love these things. I don’t know how the Cake’s do it, but these are better than the ones in Cloudsdale.”
  774. >”Yea, the sweets they make here are better than the ones from my home I guess.”
  775. >Anon stared at his soft drink for a moment, watching the tiny bubbles rise to the top.
  776. >”Hey Rainbow, sorry about that bitch ruining your prank.”
  777. “What? No, it’s fine. So long she doesn’t try to start trouble again, we are in the clear for the rest of the day.”
  778. >”I have no doubt about that, it’s just I have experience with fake friends like that.”
  779. “Sound’s rough.”
  780. >”Really rough. The whore only used me as a way to please her friends, ended up losing all of us.”
  781. >Cringe. It’s creatures like that that make your blood boil.
  782. “That’s crazy! What did they do?”
  783. >Anon sighed. Meditating back on his drink, he looked like he was considering whether to tell you or not.
  784. >”It was an old co-worker I had back when I worked in some dead end retailing job. The job itself made me feel like my life was an endless loop. She noticed I had...problems, and offered help.”
  785. “Oh jeez I think I see where this is going.”
  786. >”Yea. So she gives me this quote on quote ‘help’, and it actually does work for a little bit. Gets me to see a doctor, listens to some of my problems.”
  787. “Damn, so what went wrong.”
  788. >”Well, I learned what she was really doing from one of her friends. She was making her self look like some virtuous angle saving a sad depressed freak. She said she even revealed to her friends she never understood what I was talking about, and even forgot about some of the things I’ve said to her.”
  789. >Anon chugged the rest of his soda and slammed the glass down back on to the counter.
  790. >”Felt like I had a knife stuck in my back.”
  791. “Wow Anon, that’s really fucked up. Really sappy, but really fucked up. Hey, if we were friends then, she’d be regretting her decisions on trying to use you.”
  792. >Anon frowned.
  793. >”Appreciate that Dash, but at the same time I can’t help feel a little guilty after what happened afterwards.”
  794. >You cocked your head to the side.
  795. “Afterwards?”
  796. >”Her friends abandoned her after all of that mess, as did I. Apparently it spiraled way out of control too because after that happened. Our manager decided, instead of moving her to a separate shift, to fire her, for reasons I’m still unsure about. In the end, I remember her begging for forgiveness at my apartment door, saying shit about not meaning to be like that and having good intentions in the beginning.”
  797. >Wow this bitch came crawling to Anon after she lost her job and friends.
  798. “Wow, what a bitch.”
  799. >”Yea she was, but...and this is going to sound confusing I know, I felt a little guilty ignoring her.”
  800. “WHAT? How could you feel so guilty about that? She used you to virtue signal to her friends, what’s so redeemable?”
  801. >”Well, her betraying me hurt, no question. But she did help me with finding my doctor, and while it lasted, it felt good to have SOMEONE to speak to. Though finding out it was all fake brought me to some really dark places. It was all during a time when I still felt guilty for not being there for my mom when she needed it, so I could at least empathize with wanting to find forgiveness for actions you can’t undo. Sometimes ignoring her felt worse than being stabbed in the back.”
  802. >Some heavy shit.
  803. >And all you wanted was to enjoy a milkshake.
  804. “Wow Anon, that’s some heavy and emotionally complex stuff. Gilda never did anything THAT BAD, but I’d say that your coworker and her are about equal in their bitch levels.”
  805. >”Ha, makes a lot of sense.”
  806. “And don’t feel sorry for her! She got you some of that doctor help you needed, okay, but she deserved her fate. She proved to be an ass hole, and now she’s feeling the consequences for it.”
  807. >Anon sighed again, signaling for another soda.
  808. >”Maybe you’re right Rainbow Dash...I know it’s something that to anyone else would seem obvious but my emotions then, and even now, are a confusing mess. I’m glad I can have some bros like you and the rest of the Elements to help.”
  809. “Hey! No problem! Any time you need help, even if it’s with weird, gross, sappy, emotional stuff, I’m here to help. You can count on me not bragging to Twilight or the others either. I already know I’m great!”
  810. >This got a laugh from Anon.
  811. >”Haha, thanks Rainbow. You’ve been pretty cool today.”
  812. >You fucking know it monkey.
  813. >You noticed something caught Anon’s eye.
  814. >He was looking out of the window to the street.
  815. >”Uhm. Rainbow, I think I know what Gilda’s ‘business’ here is.”
  816. >You look in the same direction he is and see Gilda pick pocketing one of the ponies in the market place.
  817. >What the? Is she really?
  818. >You see her pull out a small bag with the word “rent” on it and put the bits she stole into her bag.
  819. >That slimy, feather brained, no good...ugh.
  820. “Anon...I have a favor to ask.”
  821. >”Oh no. Are you gonna-”
  822. “Yes, I am. I need you to keep watch so no police ponies stop me too early.”
  823. >”Fuckin’ hell...yea fine alright. If Twilight asks, I wasn’t involved.”
  824. “Fine by me.”
  825. >45 minutes later, and a facehoofing Twilight was trying to contain herself while she scolded you about how assault and battery, even if done for good, is still illegal, all the while, a bruised Gilda is being carried away by Paramedics.
  826. >You looked behind Twilight and over to Anon rubbing his temple and smirked at him.
  827. >Anon looked at you, then smiled and shook his head.
  828. >This Anon guy was alright.
  829.  
  830. ~~~~
  831.  
  832. >It was late in the evening.
  833. >You flip through the pages of the book in front of you.
  834. >Luna was wrong in which book you’d find this spell in. It was the third volume not the second.
  835. >The spell itself wasn’t that complicated.
  836. >It’s actually a version of Rarity’s gem finding spell more tuned for finding souls, you just had to focus your mind on looking for the source of consciousness in a pony.
  837. >Or in this case a human.
  838. “Alright, first let’s see if I can pull this off. Spike, would you mind coming over here?”
  839. >Spike got up from his bed and put his Comic book down.
  840. >”Yea? Whatcha need Twilight?”
  841. “I need to test a consciousness spell on you. It won’t hurt, it will just allow me to find where the source of your conscious is.”
  842. >”Uhhhh. Okay? Do I need to do anything?”
  843. “No, just stay still and let the spell do it’s work.”
  844. >You closed your eyes and concentrated your magic into your horn to cast the spell.
  845. >A bright light was cast from your aura.
  846. “Alright, now all I need to do is focus in on your mind and...”
  847. >Your eyes shot open.
  848. >The surrounding environment was in gray scale.
  849. >Interesting.
  850. >You looked over to your assistant and could see a cloud of what appeared to be light flowing around his head like smoke.
  851. >”Is something wrong Twilight?”
  852. “Wow! Spike I can see your conscious essence! It’s like your face is emitting light.”
  853. >”Woah, Freaky.”
  854. “Alright, now I just need to focus on finding the source.”
  855. >You could feel your horn...beating?
  856. >That’s the only way you could describe it. It was as if your heart were on top of your head.
  857. >You moved toward spike, the closer you got the faster your horn began to beat.
  858. >You moved your horn from Spike’s head down to his chest.
  859. >In that instance, the beating stopped and a flash of light emitted from your horn.
  860. >The sudden flash blinded you.
  861. “Ah!”
  862. >”Woah, Twilight! Are you okay?”
  863. >You rubbed your hooves with your eyes. Blinking a few times and focusing on the room to get your vision back.
  864. “Yea Spike, I’m fine, just a bright...Woahhh!”
  865. >”What! What is it? What do you see?”
  866. “Spike! There’s light coming from your chest!”
  867. >You kept your eyes on the aura swimming around Spike’s ribcage. Beating in tandem with his heart and giving off a pinkish glow.
  868. >”What? Is that good? Is there something wrong with me?”
  869. “Can you not see all this light Spike?”
  870. >”N-no I can’t!”
  871. “Interesting...really interesting.”
  872. >After a few more seconds of inspecting the aura around Spike’s heart, there was another flash, and the light was gone. The world was back in its full color.
  873. “Well. The spell worked. I could see your consciousness and its source Spike.”
  874. >”That’s all good right?”
  875. “Of course. Should be. You seem to have everything where it needs to be.”
  876. >Spike wiped the sweat off his brow and sighed in relief.
  877. >”Phew. At first I thought something was wrong there.”
  878. “Heh, don’t worry Spike, you’re fine. If I expect to see anything different it’d be with Anon.”
  879. >”What’s wrong with him? Well, besides the obvious.”
  880. “Well, Princess Luna mentioned not being able to find the source of his consciousness. She doesn’t know if it’s a quirk of Human biology, or him arriving in her dream realm or something, so she asked me to see if I can find it in our world.”
  881. >”Well, would you like me to go and wake him up?”
  882. “No it’s fine Spike. The spell should work while he’s asleep. And it isn’t like it’s an invasive spell like a dream or memory viewing spell. It will be just like checking his pulse.”
  883. >”Uhm, alright? Are you sure?”
  884. “Plenty sure, besides, Luna said she’d be talking to him in the dream realm tonight and try to get more information from his past. I don’t want to interrupt them.”
  885. >”Hey knock yourself out Twilight. You need me for anything else?”
  886. >You placed a hoof to your chin.
  887. “Hmmm. Nope! That’s all. Speaking of sleep, you should get some too, I didn’t mean to keep you up this late.”
  888. >”Nah it’s fine Twilight. I’m always willing to help. Good night!”
  889. “Good night Spike.”
  890. >You pat your assistant on his head as he walks back over to his bed and cuddles up under his blanket.
  891. >Now. Time to find Anon’s source of consciousness.
  892. >You sneak down and quietly open the door to the guest room.
  893. >Anon was fast asleep.
  894. >With how peaceful he looks you assume he’s speaking to the princess right now.
  895. >You softly make your way to his bed, and concentrate on the spell.
  896. >With a flash of light, the world is shadowed in gray, and you can see the an aura swimming around Anon’s head, just like with Spike.
  897. >So far so good.
  898. >You focus on the beating in your horn, slow and steady.
  899. >Using your horn to play hot and cold, you scan Anon’s body.
  900. >Nothing.
  901. >Well. Not surprising.
  902. >This rules out the dream realm interfering.
  903. >You could still feel the beating, so it probably wasn’t that Humans don’t have a source at all.
  904. >If their consciousness was their own source, then you should be able to see the pinkish hue, but the light around Anon’s head was white.
  905. >You pointed your horn into the air, feeling the beat.
  906. >You paced around the room.
  907. >Slower, slower, picking up!
  908. >Slow again.
  909. >Wait, back toward the other side of the room.
  910. >Making sure you don’t wake Anon up, you quietly make your way to the other side of the room.
  911. >The beating in your horn was picking up pace.
  912. >You stopped at the desk with all of Anon’s stuff on it.
  913. “Hm. Maybe it’s in Anon’s bag?”
  914. >You scanned it with your horn.
  915. >Nope, wasn’t in there.
  916. >But you were warmer, you could feel it.
  917. >You scanned the rest of the desk.
  918. >Nothing.
  919. >What could be making your horn beat this much?
  920. “Hmmm. Where is it?”
  921. >You scanned around the desk.
  922. >The candle, the inkwell, his bag again.
  923. >All the while the beating in your horn changing in tempo as you moved it around.
  924. >Nothing here.
  925. >What were you missing?
  926. >...wait.
  927. >You saw the drawer of the desk was opened slightly.
  928. >You opened it.
  929. >A familiar notebook. With Anon’s name, and large red text.
  930. >’DO NOT READ’
  931. >Could this be it?
  932. >Your horn was beating at an increased tempo now.
  933. >It’s the only thing you haven’t checked yet.
  934. >You lower your horn and a bright flash fills your vision.
  935. >You gasped and backed up.
  936. >You tripped over your self and landed on your back.
  937. >You held your breath and looked over to Anon’s bed.
  938. >He grunted and rolled over.
  939. >”N-no. Just askin’.” Anon said before letting out a long sigh and continuing to snore.
  940. “Oh thank goodness.”
  941. >You whisper.
  942. >You pick yourself up and brush the dust off.
  943. “Now, let’s see if that...whaaaa?”
  944. >You looked back over to the journal, expecting to see it surrounded by a pleasant pinkish aura.
  945. >Well, it was surrounded in an Aura. This aura wasn’t very pleasant though. It wasn’t a soft pink like Spike’s.
  946. >You slowly made your way over to inspect it closer.
  947. >A deep crimson glow was coming from the book. Instead of the light gracefully dancing, it vibrated, any shapes the aura made were jagged, and jutted at geometrically impossible angles.
  948. >Your ear twitched, hearing something else that didn’t happen with Spike.
  949. >Whispers. Strained, almost inaudible whispers. The book itself seemed to be trying to speak to you.
  950. >Emphasis on trying.
  951. >You could barely hear them, and you couldn’t make out any of the words, but it sounded like speech.
  952. >You dared yourself to move closer.
  953. >As you outstretched your hoof however, another flash filled your vision, and the colors of the world were restored. And with the return of color, the aura disappeared.
  954. “What in the name of...”
  955. >You stared at the journal.
  956. >You were beginning to feel really uncomfortable now.
  957. >You slowly backed away and quietly, ever so gently, shut Anon’s door.
  958. >You were silent and cautious the entire way to your bed, your legs moving on their own.
  959. >When you finally reached your own bed, you lay down and stare at the ceiling.
  960. “What...was that?”
  961. >What ever just happened was all your mind could focus on.
  962. >One question answered. Ten hundred more pop up.
  963. >You know Anon’s source of consciousness isn’t in his heart.
  964. >But why?
  965. >Why was it in his journal?
  966. >Why was the aura surrounding it so much different than Spike’s?
  967. >Reading the book again, you could see that the aura was supposed to look like it did with Spike.
  968. >What were those whispers you heard?
  969. >What was anything at this point?
  970. >...why Anonymous?
  971. >How deep did his troubles go?
  972. >You felt like you asked yourself this question over a hundred times now.
  973. >But honestly. Seriously.
  974. >What happened to him?
  975. >He’s been opening up a lot about his troubles before arriving here, and doing so has seen amazing progress.
  976. >The question kept nagging at you. Every day you wanted to know more and more.
  977. >It irritated you how it took so long to figure all of this out.
  978. >It feels like studying Pinkie all over again.
  979. >What in the name of Celestia happened to him in this bad place he mentioned?
  980. >What else is he hiding? What is he NOT saying?
  981. >If he refuses to say anything then...how horrible must it be?
  982. >The thoughts of what that could be haunted you for the rest of the night.
  983. >Random creeks of the old tree and the wind outside making you jump with every random noise.
  984. >The still and quite night leaving you too unnerved to get into a comfortable position.
  985. >You didn’t get that much sleep that night.
  986. >Too many questions. Not enough answers.
  987.  
  988. ~~~~
  989.  
  990. >”Luna...I have to ask you a question.”
  991. >You look over to Anonymous, he was slouching, his hoodie covering his face.
  992. “What do you wish to ask me Anon?”
  993. >”Luna. I trust you, you know why. I love all the new friends I’ve made as well, but I trust you the most. You’re the best one I’ve made here, even if I only ever get to see you in my dreams...quite literally.”
  994. >You chuckled.
  995. “Yes Anonymous, you’ve expressed this.”
  996. >”Yea. It’s true too. It feels like we can talk about anything with each other. But I’m about to ask a question I’m sure Twilight would want to hear about, but I’d rather have it kept between us.”
  997. “Of course Anonymous, I wouldn’t think of doing anything you were not comfortable with.”
  998. >You gave Anon a reassuring smile, which he returned.
  999. >Anon sighed and prepared himself for the question.
  1000. >”Luna...how do you know if something you see is real?”
  1001. >Ah shoot. Philosophy. Not your strongest point. You’ve read some of the basics sure, but you never pondered these questions yourself.
  1002. “Well, I have no reason to distrust what I see now. You are real, and the ponies around us acknowledge you. I can feel you when we hug. I can hear your voice. And I have no reason to think I’m insane. Why do you ask? Is it because we are all myths in your world as you are in ours?”
  1003. >”Well. Actually, that may influence, but it isn’t what I mean. In fact being dropped in a land of magic and talking myths isn’t the strangest thing I’ve seen recently. I actually have been feeling more normal and at home here than back where I come from.”
  1004. “That’s very good to here. We are all trying our best to welcome you.”
  1005. >”Yes, and while I don’t understand why in the beginning you did that, I’m finally at peace with it. I accept it, and it’s been helping a lot. But there are far bigger problems.”
  1006. “Concerning your perception of reality?”
  1007. >”Yes.”
  1008. “Why are you questioning such things Anon?”
  1009. >Anon sighed and cupped his face.
  1010. >He slouched for another moment before picking his head up and taking in a deep breath.
  1011. >”Luna. It’s about that place I was in.”
  1012. >Oh by the Maker is he really?
  1013. >He’s finally opening up?
  1014. >Really?
  1015. >You listen in closely.
  1016. >”Luna I...I’ve seen things. I saw terrible, horrible things there. I-I saw some of the most strangest things. I...ugh. Never mind. I don’t even know how to explain it. Or accept it. All that matters is, while I was there. I couldn’t find out if any of that was real or, if I was just seeing things.”
  1017. “It’s okay Anon. It must have been real. You have cuts and bruises still healing all over your body.”
  1018. >”That’s not exactly what I mean, at least, with what I know now. But the thought that everything I did witness actually happening is...terrifying.”
  1019. >You pull Anon in for a tight hug.
  1020. “Anon, you don’t have to continue if you don’t want to. I’m sure you’ve seen some horrible things. I have as well, having to save my kingdoms and walk into nightmares every night. Just know everything will be okay, and we will help you with what ever happens.”
  1021. >Anon hugs you back, burying his face into your chest tuft.
  1022. >Oof. He’s warm.
  1023. >”Thanks Luna. I wouldn’t want you to have to deal with such a thing though.”
  1024. “I will personally deal with what ever evils that haunt you. No exceptions.”
  1025. >Anon sighed and buried his face into your tuft more.
  1026. >OOF! You like that.
  1027. >You blush.
  1028. >You both fall over onto the pillow you brought to sit on, still in an embrace.
  1029. “You know Anon, I was thinking about visiting Ponyville during Nightmare Night coming up. We could spend time together then.”
  1030. >”That sounds great Luna can’t wait.”
  1031. >You two stayed laying on the pillow for the rest of the night.
  1032. >How great it felt to have this kind of bond.
  1033. >How warm you feel inside having a true friend.
  1034. >How reassuring and safe to finally have someone who’d dealt with all of your problems.
  1035. >How pretty his eyes were.
  1036. >…
  1037. >Uh...you’d have to really ponder on that thought later.
  1038. >Right now you were too busy embraced in the forever warm and comfy hug of friendship.
  1039. >And you weren’t about to let some off hoof thought distract you.
  1040.  
  1041. ~~~~
  1042.  
  1043. >It was Nightmare Night.
  1044. >Anon’s been living with you for a month now.
  1045. >Nightmares don’t let up.
  1046. >He’s been better attitude wise though.
  1047. >He still has his bouts of depression. He still has his problems.
  1048. >But being around friends has been able to help him.
  1049. >You’ve been dreading Nightmare Night because of the horror theme, and you didn’t want Anon to endure all of the creepy and spooky things that usually goes on tonight.
  1050. >That’s why it surprised you when you found out he didn’t mind such things.
  1051. >There was a similar holiday back in his world called ‘Halloween’ themed around horror. They had trick or treating as well, and dressed up, and had parties with scary decorations.
  1052. >When he grew out of dressing up and trick or treating he said he’d watch an old horror movie, which apparently, their technology with movies are also beyond what Equestria has.
  1053. >You supposed all of this would be okay then.
  1054. >You decided to dress up as Edgar Allen Pone for this Night Mare Night.
  1055. >One of your favorites. His stories were more dark than they were scary, but he was an amazing writer.
  1056. >Speaking of writing, you couldn’t get your mind off of what happened almost a month ago with trying to find Anon’s source of consciousness.
  1057. >It was in his journal, and the aura surrounding it seemed corrupted, almost unnatural.
  1058. >You didn’t write to Luna about it. You didn’t know how too.
  1059. >How do you describe what you saw that night?
  1060. >Anon seems so normal, as normal Anon can be at least.
  1061. >You always knew he was hiding something, but this something seemed to be deeper than just this bad place he went to or a very bad incident that happened to him.
  1062. >You found yourself deep in thought as to what either one of those could have been.
  1063. >Was the bad place a very bad fight? Was he in a bad part of what ever city he was in?
  1064. >Was he lost in the woods in his world? What wild animals did they have there?
  1065. >Was he held hostage?
  1066. >What about this horrible occurrence? Was it the bad place itself? Or something else?
  1067. >The death of a family member? He was open about his mother and father. It couldn’t be that could it?
  1068. >There was still something he wasn’t telling you.
  1069. >It irked you.
  1070. >You had a job, you had a friend to help!
  1071. >You had to know. You HAD to.
  1072. >But tonight wasn’t the night for that, unless something extreme happens.
  1073. >You wouldn’t cast memory spell on him. You weren’t that low, and you knew you were already hoofing the line when it came to looking for his conscious without asking.
  1074. >This had to come from him lest dire circumstances call for such a thing.
  1075. >You took one of Spike’s fake mustaches and placed it on your upper lip.
  1076. >Rarity helped with the dying of your mane, much to her chagrin, and even supplied the tie and blazer needed.
  1077. >You looked at your self in the mirror.
  1078. >The past few slepless nights of reading Pone’s stories gave you some natural bags under your eyes.
  1079. “Heh. Looks like I’m ready to write “The Manticore’s Paw” or something.”
  1080. >Now all get up in your costume, you walked down stares to find Spike and Anon getting a candy bowl ready for the little fillies that would stop by for some tasty treats.
  1081. >Spike was the first to notice.
  1082. >”Oh! You’re ready Twilight! Ready to go to Pinkie’s Night Mare Night party?”
  1083. “Of course! Just set the bowl out on the front porch and we’ll be on our way.”
  1084. >Spike was in a cute little Griffon costume, Anon didn’t bother with dressing up.
  1085. “Are you sure you don’t want to be in a costume Anonymous? Everypony else will dressed up for the occasion.”
  1086. >”Ha. I’m fine. I’m already a spooky, meat eating, alien from another world. I’ll fit right in.”
  1087. >His cynical sense of humor was hard to get used to, but you’re past over thinking it by this point.
  1088. “Alright Mr. Spooky monkey, we should get going now. We don’t want to be late.”
  1089. >Spike hopped onto your back and Anon placed the bowl out on the front step of the library.
  1090. >With that all three of your were off to Sugar Cube Corner.
  1091. >Walking through the front door you took a minute to appreciate Pinkie’s decorating skills.
  1092. >There were dead leaves scattered randomly over the floor, the lights were dimmed, and there were ghosts and bats hung up on the wall.
  1093. >There were cupcakes with frosting spiders on them and barrels filled with water and apples.
  1094. >Really nice decorations and assortment of games all around the bakery.
  1095. >With some classic Pinkie touches. Black and orange balloons for example.
  1096. >Speaking of Pinkie Pie.
  1097. >”OH! Everyone! Spike, Twilight, and Anon are here!”
  1098. >The party mare, dressed as a chicken...again, got the attention of all the other ponies in the place so they could welcome you.
  1099. >Well all accept Rainbow Dash and Apple Jack who were competing to see who could bob for the most apples. Who were in lion and zombie costumes respectfully.
  1100. >”Darlings! How nice to see all of you here finally. You three are a little late.”
  1101. >Rarity walked up to hug you. She didn’t dress up too much herself, just a gothic gown.
  1102. “Heh. Yea, sorry about that. I was just getting ready.”
  1103. >”Well you look better than I thought you would! Well minus the mustache.”
  1104. “Edgar Allen Pone did have one! No use dressing up as the author if I’m not going to be accurate.”
  1105. >”Well I suppose you’re right. Well, we all hope you enjoy the night, Pinkie Pie out did her self with the treats this year.”
  1106. >The party it self ended up being so much fun.
  1107. >Spike orbited Rarity most of the night. You were very entertained by Rainbow and AJ competing over all of the games, and even Fluttershy showed up, which was a surprise.
  1108. >She said she showed up for Anonymous, having the same worries you had that the night would trigger something or scare him.
  1109. >Though, despite his insistence on the opposite being true, Fluttershy spent most of her time around Anon. Though he ended up being the one comforting her.
  1110. >Poor pegasus was shivering in Anons hoodie after Pinkie tried to give her a cupcake with a gumball decorated to look like an eye stuck in the top.
  1111. >The fun was cut short by the voice of Mayor Mare outside gathering everypony who could here out to the town square.
  1112. “Oh! It must almost be time for the little fillies and colts to go visit and offer candy to the Nightmare Moon statue.”
  1113. >”The what? You guys have a statue of Nightmare Moon?”
  1114. >Anon took his attention away from calming Fluttershy down and looked at you with an eyebrow raised.
  1115. “Yep! It’s on the edge of town, every Nightmare Night the mayor will get all of the children together and offer their candy to the statue.”
  1116. >”And why would they do that?”
  1117. “Oh, it’s just a little fun. There’s a dumb legend that if the foals didn’t offer their candy to Nightmare Moon she’d come and eat them.”
  1118. >”Uhhh. Luna is okay with that still being a thing?”
  1119. “Oh she doesn’t mind anymore. A few years ago she tried to come here and change Nightmare Night into more of a feast. Didn’t go over too well. She actually ended up embracing the idea instead.”
  1120. >”Oh! Well, if she’s okay with that I guess. It’s a little weird to continue to have a holiday where you celebrate the fear of your now reformed princess.”
  1121. “Culture is often weird. It’s not like we can just change the holiday after a thousand years anyway. In fact! You should go with the group Anon. Princess Luna likes to make appearances at the statue!”
  1122. >”Huh. Yea I’ll go. Luna mentioned visiting a while back. I just have to calm down Flutters first.”
  1123. >Fluttershy nuzzled her self deeper into Anon’s hoodie.
  1124. >”Oh. P-please don’t bring me. When ever Luna makes her appearance it’s always so scary.”
  1125. >Anon wrapped his arms around the quivering mare and cooed.
  1126. >”Aw don’t worry Fluttershy, I can walk you back home before I go if you’d like?”
  1127. >Fluttershy nodded her head vigorously.
  1128. >”Alright. Well, I guess I’ll be walking her back to her cottage. I’ll see you later tonight Twilight?”
  1129. “Mhm! Oh! Anon, before I forget, just come back to the library, the girls are going to be staying over to tell scary stories!”
  1130. >Anon made his way to the door, trying his best not to trip over himself as he cradled Fluttershy.
  1131. >”Yea, sounds great. I’ll make sure not to take to long. See you guys later.”
  1132. >You all waved goodbye to the two as Anonymous left through the door.
  1133. >”Hey Twilight! I gots ya a question!”
  1134. >Pinkie Pie flew...yes, flew, flapping her costumes chicken arms, over to you.
  1135. “Yea? What is it?”
  1136. >”You got any seeds for me?”
  1137. >Oh Pinkie.
  1138.  
  1139. ~~~~
  1140.  
  1141. >You tried your best to keep it in.
  1142. >You did, you really did.
  1143. >And then he said it.
  1144. >He said those words you were never expecting.
  1145. >Then the flood gates opened.
  1146. >You couldn’t hold back the feelings in your chest.
  1147. >Not after those words.
  1148. >”Yea, and then Rainbow Dash told her if she ever came back to Ponyville she’d use the rake on her next.”
  1149. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh goodness Anonymous, I suppose I should be mad at her for committing assault but...HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
  1150. >It had been a while since you’ve laughed that hard.
  1151. >This night had all around been a very pleasing one.
  1152. >Giving the little foals a show by scaring them into giving you candy was always fun.
  1153. >And you knew they were never really afraid of you.
  1154. >Little Pipsqueak was always a voice of reason among them.
  1155. >You were given a happy surprise when you saw Anonymous standing behind the crowd of foals. So much so you almost broke character.
  1156.  
  1157. >”Yea. Rainbow Dash seems to get herself into trouble a lot. She is always coming from a good place though I think.”
  1158. “Is that so?”
  1159. >”Of course. Though, the road to Hell is paved in good intentions.”
  1160. “The road to Hell?”
  1161. >”Oh. Hell would be the closest version to Tartarus I think. Anyone who has committed sin or evil would be sent to Hell after they died.”
  1162. “I see. And there is a road that leads there?”
  1163. >”Metaphorically yes. It’s a cautionary saying. Even if you are coming from a good place, that doesn’t mean everything you do is right or will come out the way you want it to.”
  1164. “Ah! A rather morbid way to say such a thing, but I think I understand.”
  1165. >”Yea, Humans have some morbid ways of putting things into perspective. But it’s a form of art all in its own way.”
  1166. “How poetic.”
  1167. >”Exactly.”
  1168. >You and Anon walked a long a trail in White Tailed Woods, enjoying the scenery in the late hours of the night.
  1169. >A dim yet calming light being given off by your stars and moon.
  1170. >Fireflies danced around the both of you, a calm breeze gave life to the otherwise quite path.
  1171. >The leafless tress allowed there to be very little in the way of the light coming from the sky.
  1172. >The night was so calm and peaceful that those not paying attention wouldn’t know tonight was supposed to be one of celebrating horror.
  1173. >A heavy gust of fall wind blew from the side of the forest you were closest to, interrupting the otherwise temperate and relaxing breeze.
  1174. >The cold bit at you and you moved closer into Anonymous, bumping his arm.
  1175. >”Woah. You okay Luna?”
  1176. >You blushed.
  1177. “O-of course. It just got a little colder out here.”
  1178. >”Oh, yea. It is fall, one of the reasons us Humans where clothing.”
  1179. >Anon shuddered.
  1180. >”Wish I had clothing more suited for the upcoming colder months though. Even my hoodie isn’t going to be enough for the winter weather.”
  1181. >That’s a good idea for a present.
  1182. >”Suppose we’ll just have to toughen it out for tonight though.”
  1183. “Yes, of course.”
  1184. >No. You could keep each other warm, with body heat. Just relaxing in a clearing leaning against each other, staying warm in Anon’s…
  1185. >Ugh.
  1186. >Those thoughts again.
  1187. >It started as an off hoof thought.
  1188. >Nothing you thought was serious.
  1189. >He was an amazing friend!
  1190. >Though the more time you spent with him the more those kinds of thoughts entered your mind.
  1191. >Friends could keep each other warm!
  1192. >A warm hug of friendship...looking at the sky together...listening to Anon’s heartbea-
  1193. >Stop. You’re making yourself blush.
  1194. >You couldn’t stop them from coming.
  1195. >He was from another race, another world.
  1196. >And he was mortal, he’d be gone like the rest of them.
  1197. >Plus you two have an amazing friendship already.
  1198. >Why ruin that with awkward thoughts.
  1199. >”Hey, what’s that?”
  1200. >You stopped and looked to see where Anon was pointing.
  1201. >In one of the large clearings, there was a guitar leaning against a tree stump.
  1202. “It appears a pony has left their guitar out here.”
  1203. >”Well, let’s go see if it has a marking or something saying who it belongs too.”
  1204. >The two of you walk up to the musical instrument and Anonymous picks it up.
  1205. >On the body of the guitar, right under neath the bridge, are three large red apples.
  1206. >”Hey. This is Applejack’s guitar!”
  1207. “Why would her guitar be all the way out here?”
  1208. >”Maybe she just wanted to play out here and left it for some reason.”
  1209. >Anon sits down onto the tree stump and places the guitar on his lap.
  1210. >”Hm.”
  1211. >He strums each string, one by one on the guitar.
  1212. >”It’s still tuned...”
  1213. >He looks up to you and then smiles.
  1214. >”It’s been a few weeks, want to hear a song.”
  1215. “That would be most enjoyable.”
  1216. >”Alright. Hmmm. What’s a good song I remember? Ah!”
  1217. >Anon’s fingers danced across the strings of the guitar, playing a sweet if somber melody.
  1218. >Suitable though. Sweet yet somber describe Anonymous perfectly.
  1219. >You sat down and gazed at Anonymous as he worked the strings.
  1220. >Each chord and strum coming together in an amazing harmony.
  1221. >Seeing him play his instrument, his figure cast against the dark woods, illuminated only by the dim light of the moon, stars, and occasional winter firefly, such a view would be perfect as a painting.
  1222. >Such a painting would be one you’d stare at for hours.
  1223. >Being here and seeing the real thing though?
  1224. >Much better.
  1225.  
  1226. ~~~~
  1227.  
  1228. >”And then, after the pony slowly opened her front door, she finds on her door step...her missing saddle, covered in mold.”
  1229. >Lightning flashed, and you and your friends all huddled into each other. Shivering.
  1230. >Rainbow was pretty good at telling some scary stories.
  1231. >”Oh! Good HEAVENS Rainbow Dash, I-I don’t think I’ve shivered t-this much from one of your stories since y-you’ve told me about the time you crashed into Applejack’s pig sty!”
  1232. >Rarity was nuzzling right into your chest tuft.
  1233. >Rainbow stood up and puffed her chest out.
  1234. >”Heh, yea! I’m filled with great stories. Spooky, AND awesome.”
  1235. “More spooky than awesome.”
  1236. >It was probably around midnight, you and your friends have been telling horror stories for hours.
  1237. >Mostly because after the first few, none of you were brave enough to sleep.
  1238. >You looked over to Anonymous.
  1239. >He looked as though he was deep in thought.
  1240. “Anon?”
  1241. >”Wha? Huh? Yes Twilight?”
  1242. “You okay? You haven’t said anything in a while?”
  1243. >”Uhhhh. I’m uh, I’m fine. You guys are just taking a while is all.”
  1244. “What do you mean?”
  1245. >”I mean, you guys have been sharing your...uhm, ‘spooky’ stories, and I was just waiting for one that was particularly dark is all.”
  1246. >”WHAT?!”
  1247. >Rainbow fluttered her self up into the air and hovered over to where Anon sat.
  1248. >”The tale of ‘The Moldy Saddle’ is one of the most terrifying stories I know!”
  1249. >Anon looked at Rainbow incredulously.
  1250. >”Uhm. Is it really?”
  1251. >Rainbow looked almost offended. Her mouth was open so wide It almost touched the floor from her position in the air.
  1252. >”Uh, yes, really!”
  1253. >”Alright, calm down sugar cube. Ah’m sure Anon didn’t mean nothin’ by it. He jus’ wasn’t spooked was all.”
  1254. >Applejack butted in trying to mediate the situation.
  1255. >”Though, Ah’m not sure how he couldn’t be.”
  1256. >Pinkie Pie, seemingly out of no where, poked her head from behind Anonymous.
  1257. >”WOW NONNY! I haven’t seen you shiver all night!  *gasp * Does that mean you have an extra scary SUPER DUPER HORRIFYING STORY?!”
  1258. >With the added emphasis on super duper horrifying, she hopped on top of Anon’s shoulders.
  1259. >”Gah! Pinkie, you’re too heavy! No, I don’t really have one.”
  1260. >Anon picked Pinkie up off his shoulders and set her down in front of him.
  1261. >Rarity finally lifter her head from your chest and looked over to Anon.
  1262. >”Oh, you must Anon! If Rainbow Dash’s stories aren’t scarring you, you must have SOMETHING a lot more terrifying!”
  1263. >”Listen, I...wait. Are you all being serious right now?”
  1264. >The five of you looked at each other, and then all back to Anon.
  1265. “Serious about what?”
  1266. >”Those were all the scariest stories you guys had to tell?”
  1267. “Well, some of them were scarier than others, and while they are all stories, they are some of the scariest we have in our culture...why?”
  1268. >Anon pinched his chin.
  1269. >He was coming to a realization. Of what you didn’t know.
  1270. >But it look like it hit him like ton of hay bales.
  1271. >”Those...those stories are all terrifying to you guys. Some of the scariest known?”
  1272. >”Uh Yea!”
  1273. >Rainbow set her self down, looking at Anon with a confused expression.
  1274. >”Those stories...are the scariest...you guys have ever...”
  1275. >Anon trailed off, it seemed like he was mostly talking to himself now.
  1276. >”Excuse me for a minute, I need to uh...look at something real quick.”
  1277. >Anon got up and left for the guest bed room.
  1278. >”Aww Nonny, where ya goin?”
  1279. >Pinkie started to follow Anonymous but you stopped her as she passed you.
  1280. “Hold on Pinkie, something’s up. I’ll go see what’s wrong.”
  1281. >You picked yourself up and walked over to Anon’s room.
  1282. >You raised a hoof and knocked lightly on the door.
  1283. “Anon?”
  1284. >No answer.
  1285. >You looked back over to the girls, they all shrugged.
  1286. “Anon? Anon, what’s going on?”
  1287. >You pushed the door open slightly.
  1288. >You peered into his room, it was dark.
  1289. >The only light coming through was form the crack in the open door.
  1290. >Anon was next to his bed, inspecting his old hoodie. Rarity mended it the best she could but there were still a stitch or two from the cuts he had in it.
  1291. “Anon?”
  1292. >Anon didn’t move, he just continued to look at his old hoodie.
  1293. >You walked in a little bit and moved closer toward him.
  1294. “Anonymous, is everything oka-”
  1295. >”Those are really the scariest stories you guys know? Like, not even that Edgar Allen Pone author doesn’t have anything scarier?”
  1296. >You were taken a back a little bit.
  1297. >He’s really that overwhelmed by learning about pony horror?
  1298. “Uh, well, a few, but I wouldn’t say they are a lot scarier than say what Rainbow has to tell. Anon, what’s going on? Why is how scary our stories are upsetting you?”
  1299. >Anon finally turned his head over to you, he looked like he was about to say something, but then stopped himself.
  1300. >He turned his head back over to his hoodie and placed it carefully on his bed.
  1301. >”It’s nothing Twi. I just came to a realization.”
  1302. >He was becoming more confusing and hard to read by the minute.
  1303. “What do you mean? What realization?”
  1304. >You looked back over to Anon’s hoodie.
  1305. “Is it about that place you were in?”
  1306. >Anon didn’t answer. Instead he turned around and sat on his bed.
  1307. >The room was dark and still. The two of you looked at each other.
  1308. >Your face expressed a sign of worry, on Anon’s a somber and serious tone.
  1309. >The quite seemed to drag on.
  1310. >Even the girls outside the room weren’t speaking.
  1311. >Knowing them they probably had their ears to the door and waiting in anticipation for what Anon had to say.
  1312. >He let out a sigh.
  1313. >”Twilight. You should stop asking about that. I’m never going to tell you what happened there.”
  1314. “What?”
  1315. >”I said I’m never going to tell you what happened to me, or where I was between me being in my world and me showing up here.”
  1316. >Where was this coming from?
  1317. “Anon, if there’s anything wrong, we can help.”
  1318. >”No Twilight. I want to do this alone.”
  1319. >You went up to hug Anon but he stopped you, placing his hands on your shoulders.
  1320. >”Really, Twi, I have to do some thinking tonight. I’m sorry to leave the party so early, but there are things I need to figure out tonight.
  1321. >You gave Anon a pleading look, but once you realized you wouldn’t change his mind, you simply nodded and left the room.
  1322. >When you closed the door to the room behind you, you looked over to your friends who were all looking at you with expectant looks on their faces.
  1323. >”So...what the hay was that all about?”
  1324. “I don’t know Rainbow, Anon just needs some time to think tonight.”
  1325. >”Think? About what?! Did my story end up scaring him?”
  1326. “No, I don’t think that’s it. But something about our stories opened his eyes about something, and it’s best we just let him meditate on what ever it is. He says he apologizes about leaving so early.”
  1327. >The rest of the night continued as planned, absent one sad human.
  1328. >You all made conversation, ate s’mores, Pinkie was even able to get a few laughs out of every pony.
  1329. >But what Anon said stuck with you.
  1330. >Another question you didn’t have the answer too, adding to how bugged you were with all of the other mysteries.
  1331. >Anon never came out of his room that night.
  1332. >Eventually, you all decided it was time to go to sleep.
  1333. >As your head laid upon your pillow, the same questions bugging you at the beginning of the night made it difficult for you to find rest.
  1334. >...
  1335. >The night was silent.
  1336. >You and you’re friends were all asleep.
  1337. >The fire smoldered out some time in the middle of the night.
  1338. >You were wrapped in a comfortable blanket next to all of your friends on the floor of your library.
  1339. >The calm air of the night blew against the windows of your tree.
  1340. >”AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
  1341. >Your eyes shot open.
  1342. >Rarity and Pinkie woke up in a panic.
  1343. >Applejack and Rainbow were in a defensive stance in seemingly no time.
  1344. >”What in the hay was-”
  1345. >”FUCK YOU!”
  1346. >The guest bedroom door flew open, almost coming off of the hinges.
  1347. >Anon stumbled onto the ground.
  1348. “Anon!”
  1349. >You rushed over to help him up off the ground.
  1350. “Anonymous! What’s wrong!”
  1351. >Anon was rolling on the floor as if he was in a struggle with some invisible attacker.
  1352. >”Yo! Anon! What’s gotten into you?”
  1353. >Anon didn’t answer Rainbow Dash.
  1354. >Instead he rolled into the table in the middle of the library, knocking the wooden statue off of it.
  1355. “Oh sweet Celestia! He’s having a night terror!”
  1356. >”Ah’m on it Twi!”
  1357. >AJ ran into the kitchen and filled a mug with water.
  1358. >Running back over, she splashed it in Anon’s face.
  1359. >”JESUS! Buh! Good Christ!”
  1360. >Anon stopped struggling and grabbed his chest, breathing heavily.
  1361. “Anon! Anon, are you okay?”
  1362. >”W-what the fuck? Twilight? I...you? Huh?”
  1363. “Anonymous, it’s fine, we’re going to help.”
  1364. >”Twilight! You...Jesus Christ...did I...another one?”
  1365. >Anonymous looked at you. His eyes wide in shock.
  1366. “You had a night terror Anon!”
  1367. >”Fuck...again? Damn it.”
  1368. >Anonymous was still catching his breath.
  1369. >Pinkie and Rarity helped him sit up, each grabbing one of his arms and helping sit up against the table.
  1370. >”Thanks you two, I-GAH!”
  1371. >Anon grabbed his head.
  1372. >”Fuckin’ headache!”
  1373. >Anon rubbed his temple for a minute while you went to grab some Motrin.
  1374. >Once you were back you gave him the pills and a glass of water.
  1375. >After a minute of heavy breathing and pestering from your friends asking if he was alright, the situation finally calmed down.
  1376. >”Y’all alright Anon?”
  1377. >”Yea, I am. Thanks AJ.”
  1378. >Anon leaned his head back against the table and took a deep breath.
  1379. >”I’m fine, everything his fine.”
  1380. “Anon, you haven’t had a nightmare that bad since you were in the castle!”
  1381. >”Yea, I know. It was a bad one too.”
  1382. >”No kidding!” Pinkie exclaimed.
  1383. >”You busted through the door and were all like ‘wraaaa’ and I was all like ‘aaaaaa’, and then AJ came through with a mug of water and-mmphmmmphphph.”
  1384. >Rainbow pushed her hoof into Pinkie’s mouth.
  1385. >”Woah! Calm down there Pinks.”
  1386. >Anon brought his hands to his face and rubbed his eyes.
  1387. >He sighed and blinked the sleep away.
  1388. >He leaned his head back again and stared at the ceiling.
  1389. >Another night terror.
  1390. >Well, the first one you actually saw.
  1391. >You, Pinkie, and Fluttershy were able to calm him down back at the castle and never actually got to see one.
  1392. >At worse, he’d wake up in a cold sweat when ever having one of his nightmares, and Princess Luna was also usually able to help him while he slept.
  1393. >But this?
  1394. >You haven’t seen this before.
  1395. >You and your friends offered to help him to couch, but Anon insisted he was fine and awake enough to move around on his own.
  1396. >None of you managed to get back to sleep that night.
  1397. >It was five in the morning when Anon woke up anyways.
  1398. >With only about four hours of sleep under your belts, you all decided breakfast would’ve been a good way to further calm the situation.
  1399. >You would all ask periodically about Anon’s night mare, but much like his normal ones, he wouldn’t say anything about them.
  1400. >So the five of you eventually stopped asking.
  1401. >Breakfast was quiet that morning.
  1402. >You couldn’t shake the feeling that what had happened was a result of last night.
  1403. >You’d blame the stories but Anon seemed unphased by them.
  1404. >You thought back to Anon saying he needed to think about something.
  1405. >What that was you weren’t sure.
  1406. >You could guess however, what Anon thought about had to do with troubles he either previously gotten over, but have come back, or something he never revealed to anypony, and the mental damn keeping it back in Anon’s mind finally collapsed under the pressure.
  1407. >Pinkie Pie offered Anon lunch at Sugar Cube Corner later that afternoon.
  1408. >Maybe that would work. You’d let her try that.
  1409. >But you had an epiphany of your own.
  1410. >Something was wrong with Anon.
  1411. >Gravely wrong. More than personal problems, even if those would be at the heart of it.
  1412. >You told yourself you wouldn’t do anything drastic unless a situation proved to you that there was no other option.
  1413. >Well, you felt that night terror that left half your library in a shamble, and a door dysfunctional, these measures had to be applied.
  1414. >Yes, you’d let Pinkie offer Anon a lunch with your friends.
  1415. >But it was clear now that you had to intervene.
  1416. >You couldn’t wait for the answers to show themselves.
  1417. >You had to do something, and do something now.
  1418.  
  1419. ~~~~
  1420.  
  1421. >”Twilight, you coming?”
  1422. >Spike waved over to you from across the room.
  1423. >Him and Anon were about to go to Pinkie’s lunch she planned to help alleviate Anon’s night terror from last night.
  1424. “Oh! I’ll be there, I still need to clean up some of this stuff.”
  1425. >”Twilight, are you sure you don’t want me to stay behind and take care of the mess instead? I am the one who caused it.”
  1426. “Don’t be silly Anon. You don’t want to miss the lunch Pinkie Pie is throwing for YOU. It won’t take me long!”
  1427. >”I suppose you’re correct. We could take care of it when we get back though. We can eat, and then I can help you out.”
  1428. “No no. It’s an easy clean. I insist, you and Spike go and show up to Pinkie’s party. Tell them all I’ll be there in a minute.”
  1429. >”Well...if you insist I guess. See you in a minute?”
  1430. “Of course! I’ll see both of you soon.”
  1431. >You waved to Spike and Anon as they left the library, watching the door shut behind them.
  1432. “Now that they are gone.”
  1433. >You cast a spell or two and the library was as clean as it was before the episode last night.
  1434. >You’d have to schedule something for somepony to fix the door though.
  1435. >Didn’t matter now.
  1436. >Anon’s night terror last night made something in your head click into place.
  1437. >What you and your friends were doing wasn’t enough.
  1438. >You had to help Anon some OTHER way.
  1439. >Your mind drifted to his journal.
  1440. >No!
  1441. >That was if there was no other way.
  1442. >You wanted to help him, and at this point you were even considering doing some ethically questionable things to do so.
  1443. >But you had to exhaust options.
  1444. >Maybe looking through his things would get you somewhere?
  1445. >You pulled the door to Anon’s room carefully and walked inside.
  1446. >He took care of the little space you offered him. Best he could at least.
  1447. >The bed still wasn’t made, and his things from his world were still scatered around his desk.
  1448. >He was neat enough to hang his clothes properly though.
  1449. >You picked up one of his hoodies. His older one.
  1450. >Looking it over you noticed the fine, barely noticeable stitching Rarity has made to mend the thing. You could barely see any pink or red that was a result of where ever Anon was the night before arriving to Equestria.
  1451. >You could only imagine what Luna had seen of Anon when she found him.
  1452. >You scrunched your muzzle.
  1453. “Don’t worry Anon. You may not want to accept our help. But we are going to give it to you. We’ll make what ever you’re going through better.”
  1454. >You set down the hoodie and walk over to Anon’s bag resting on the table.
  1455. >You begin looking through his bag, searching for something that may help you without having to do anything too drastic. Though you felt that may be unavoidable the more time went on.
  1456. >A pocket knife.
  1457. >It had little red droplets staining it, the knife it self was rather dull and bent. As though he’d been using it a lot and was either not taking care of it, or unable to.
  1458. >A pack of cigarettes and a lighter. Obvious what these are for.
  1459. >A strange long wire that split in two a long the middle. On the end of the two wires were small buds bent into a shape resembling a phonograph’s horn.
  1460. >At the other end, a dull metal spike with grooves a long it.
  1461. >You weren’t sure what these were for.
  1462. >You put those aside and continued.
  1463. >Another long wire, this one was connected to a block with three then rectangular prongs in the back. On the end of this one was a broad piece of small metal.
  1464. >The wheels in your head were turning.
  1465. >Hmmm.
  1466. >Oh!
  1467. >These must go to Anon’s phone.
  1468. >Too bad none of the outlets to the machines in your basement seemed to be able to fit these prongs.
  1469. >You set those aside and made a mental note for that in the future.
  1470. >You found some pieces of paper and small coins in his bag.
  1471. >Human money!
  1472. >Another mental note to ask Anon about, but this wouldn’t help you.
  1473. >You stopped rummaging through the bag.
  1474. >You found something.
  1475. >What was this?
  1476. >You pulled it out.
  1477. >It was a long, black, rectangle.
  1478. >Rhomboid actually now that you looked at it.
  1479. >You don’t remember the princess’s mentioning Anon having this on them.
  1480. >They must have thought nothing of it.
  1481. >It seemed to be hollow. As if you put something in it.
  1482. >Ugh what was that smell? It smelt burnt.
  1483. >You placed the open end of the black object under your nose and took a whiff.
  1484. >Was that?
  1485. >There was a faint smell of burnt sulfur coming from the inside of it.
  1486. >Weird. You wonder what that was used for.
  1487. >Just another thing to ask Anon about.
  1488. >After some more looking, you could find nothing.
  1489. >You sighed, and glanced over to the drawer in the desk.
  1490. >You didn’t want to.
  1491. >It felt wrong.
  1492. >You were already doing a very fishy thing by looking through Anon’s personal belongings, but reading his private journal felt so unethical.
  1493. >But he needed help.
  1494. >His nightmares weren’t getting better, and if last night was a message of what was to come, they could only get worse.
  1495. >With a deep breath you opened the drawer and enveloped the journal in your aura.
  1496. >You could feel a dark energy coming from it.
  1497. >You could already feel the weight of the action you were about to do.
  1498. >What else could you do though?
  1499. >You stared at the front.
  1500. >’DO NOT READ’
  1501. >Those bold letters in red seemed to pierce into you.
  1502. >You gulped, and stared down the journal.
  1503. “This is for Anon. I have to do it. Even if what I’m doing is wrong. The ends HAVE to justify the means in this situation. They have to.”
  1504. >You placed the notebook on the ground and let out a long sigh.
  1505. “I’m sorry Anon. I’m just trying to help.”
  1506. >You read the bold letters one last time.
  1507. >DO
  1508. >NOT
  1509. >READ
  1510. >It read like a warning.
  1511. >You opened the cover and stared at the red writing.
  1512. >Guilt was already beginning to fill you.
  1513. >But you persisted.
  1514. >For Anon. For you friend. For his sanity.
  1515. >You began to read.
  1516. “Dear diary...”
  1517. >You couldn’t finish the line.
  1518. >You fell over.
  1519. >Everything went black.
AIE Horror

(H.E.R.O) Mission

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