Apple Bloom’s eyes were completely fixated on the dark figure in front of her. It looked somewhat like a giant mass of black ooze but resembled a black ghostly shadow. It sort of resembled King Sombra when he was turned to shadow, but it didn’t have a head or face. There were only two dreadful goldenrod eyes piercing through its darkened mass, staring down at the small filly, sending a shiver from her head down to her hooves.
Apple Bloom tried her best to regain her composure, but as the creature growled her efforts to speak failed entirely. Even trying to run wasn’t helping as she couldn’t bring herself to move her legs. She just stood, looking up at it in horror.
As the shadow creature moved itself forward, Apple Bloom found the will to move. The feeling returned to her legs and Apple Bloom took slow steps away from it.
“H…H…Hi….. Umm…nice… p…p…pl…place… ya,” Apple Bloom stuttered. A part of her was telling her not to talk to it, but for some reason, her mind wasn’t cooperating and the words were just falling out of her.
But before she could say another word, the creature stood up, towering over her, and let out a roar so loud that the entire forest shook from the sheer force of it. The noise echoed throughout the once quiet woods, almost sending Apple Bloom flying. As soon as it was over, Apple Bloom once again looked up at the creature that still looked down at her with its evil yellow eyes.
“AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Apple Bloom shrieked. With no hesitation, she galloped off in a flashback the way she had come and away from whatever that thing was.
Apple Bloom sped through the trees like a rocket, her hooves pounding on the ground in sync with her racing heart. Her mouth was dry after that last scream she tried desperately to catch her breath as she ran. A part of her dared not to look back, but her curiosity got the better of her, and she turned her head to find, to her horror, that the creature was, in fact, chasing after her.
“NO!” she cried.
Somehow, with the little energy she had left, Apple Bloom managed to gallop farther away, disappearing into the darkened forest. The shadow blinked as though surprised to see just how fast she had gone, but continued to trail on after her.
Having managed to get away from that thing, Apple Bloom found herself sitting behind an old tree, panting heavily. Her heart was beating a mile a minute and her throat was dry. But she couldn’t risk looking for water with the monster out there somewhere.
“Why me?” Apple Bloom asked, sighing heavily.
Why was this happening to her? What did she do to deserve all this?
Apple Bloom peered around the tree to see if the thing was anywhere nearby. So far nothing seemed to be approaching, and the forest was silent once again. Seeing that it was clear, Apple Bloom rested her back against the tree and breathed another sigh of relief. As much as she wanted water, she needed her strength back more. The image of the shadowy creature still hung in her head like a photograph. Even though she had never seen King Sombra in pony, she could tell the resemblance just by the way Applejack had described him to her. Something else came to Apple Bloom’s mind, something strange about the creature, and the way it roared. It didn’t seem normal. It was unlike any sound she had ever heard. It was almost like some kind of siren that had echoed through an amplifier and twisted through the trees.
Apple Bloom gave a long drawn out yawn, her eyes feeling heavy as she shook her head and tried to stay awake. If she fell asleep, that thing would could find her for sure. But, try as she might, Apple Bloom was just too tired and drained to even keep her head up once her chin rested itself on her chest. Very quickly, the forest blurred and then drifted away..“Maybe just a little nap won’t hurt…”
A familiar, fresh and delectable scent brushed Apple Bloom’s nose. It made her tummy rumble with the sense of wanting to eat the very thing that the smell was radiating from.
“Wha… Where am I?” she asked, spinning around.
She found herself standing in a clean grass field surrounded by half a dozen apple trees. Each tree was bearing several bright red, juicy apples just waiting to be picked. The sight of them made her stomach grumble and her mouth water. She spotted one of the apples lying down against a tree. “Is this real?” she asked, hope beaming from her eyes.
She trotted up to the fallen fruit and scooped it up in her hoof. She brought it close to her muzzle and inhaled the familiar scent.
“It smells like an apple,” she said, and then took a huge bite out of it. “Mmmmmm and it certainly tastes like an apple.” Her voice was muffled as she chewed the scrumptious fruit.
Apple Bloom almost choked when she heard her name called out by an all too familiar voice. She turned to find her sister, Applejack, trotting up towards her with a look of concern written on her face. Apple Bloom swallowed the chunk of apple in one gulp as tears welled up in her eyes.
“APPLEJACK!” she cried out, dropping the apple back to the ground and running over to her sister.
Applejack found herself tackled to the ground as Apple Bloom wrapped her forelegs around her in a tight hug and buried her face in her older sister’s chest. Applejack looked down, rather baffled by Apple Bloom’s frantic state, and she felt the tears running down her fur while Apple Bloom cried softly into her coat. Applejack gently returned Apple Bloom’s warm embrace.
“Landshakes, little sis, whatever’s the matter?” Applejack asked. “Did ya’ get attacked or somethin’?”
Apple Bloom removed her face from Applejack’s chest and rubbed the tears from her eyes.
“No, it’s just that... I’m just so happy to see ya’ sis,” Apple Bloom explained. “I felt like I was someplace else. Somewhere dark and scary and there was this monster that came out of nowhere and there was nopony ta help me! Not you, not Twilight, not anypony.”
Apple Bloom again held her sister tightly, making sure not to let go of her in case she disappeared.
Applejack smiled caringly and cuddled her sister tightly back.“Don’t ya worry little sis. I ain’t gonna let no monster touch that precious bow on yer head. I’ll always be there for ya’ wherever you are, always.”
Apple Bloom could feel the warmth spread through her heart from her sister’s truthful words as the two sat in the grass, happily embracing each other together.
A familiar but horrid sound echoed through Apple Bloom’s ears, causing her eyes to pop open. She found herself once again in the nightmarish forest she thought she’d dreamed about. In her unfortunate real dream, for just that short moment alone, she really truly felt she was back in her sister’s warm forelegs; tears began streaming down her cheeks. I’ll always be there for yer’ wherever you are, always. The last words of her sister ran through her head.“Where are you, Sis?”
Apple Bloom hastily whispered to herself. “I need you...”
The noise echoed again, causing the trees to quake as though they were afraid of what was approaching, and Apple Bloom could faintly see the yellow eyes growing nearer through them. Seeing no other choice, Apple Bloom got up to her hooves and started running back down the trail. But, try as she might, she just couldn’t muster up the strength to go any faster. Her legs felt like lead, her throat was dry, and it felt like she could collapse at any moment, but somehow she had to keep going with the hope still burning inside that somepony would save her.
The roar of the creature split the air once again, making Apple Bloom turn to see the Shadow just inches behind her tail. Her heart skipped, and she suddenly stumbled, her hooves flailing as she collapsed onto the forest floor. She lay on her back, panic rising as she tried to roll over and up again, but she couldn’t move a muscle. Her eyes were heavy as she looked up at the black sky and wished she could feel the sun’s rays one last time. She didn’t want to die.
But soon the creature overtook the sky, darker than the night, as it stared down at Apple Bloom. The filly curled herself up like a ball, whimpering as she waited for the creature to attack. When nothing happened, she dared to peek open an eye at the creature, seeing it looking down at her with a sense of satisfaction radiating from its body. But as she stared into the creature’s eyes, there was something more; a hint of regret, as if it felt sorry for her.Could that be why it hasn’t attacked me yet?
Apple Bloom wondered. Could this monster actually have a good heart? Was it only just tryin’ ta help me this whole time?
Her questions were immediately shattered when the creature bellowed loudly. It sent a tremor through the entire woods with such force that even Apple Bloom’s whole body shook, as if she were as helpless as a leaf in the wind. The Shadow’s brow crossed fiercely as it towered over her, looking ready to strike. The sight of it made Apple Bloom curl up even tighter, knowing her time was up.Please, Applejack… anypony!
Apple Bloom pleaded one last time, Help me.
With no more hesitation, the Shadow shot straight down at the motionless Apple Bloom, its victory assured. But just as it was inches away from enveloping her, a bright light burst from behind the shadow, distracting it. The light didn’t last long, however; as soon as it had appeared, it quickly faded, like a bolt of lightning without sound.
Suddenly, something else swooshed past, making the Shadow turn around to see what it was, but as it looked around and saw nothing, another gust of air went over its head. But, try as it might, there was nothing to be seen. The more the Shadow looked, the more it hissed and narrowed its eyes. Then there was another quick swoosh just beneath it. It looked down and saw only the forest floor; the little filly that had been lying there moments before had vanished.
The Shadow’s eyes widened and it frantically searched the whole area until it spotted something in the distance, flying away with an exhausted Apple Bloom on its back. The Shadow unleashed another thunderous howl that ripped most of the surrounding trees from their roots and sent them crashing to the ground. Still bristling, the Shadow gave chase after the filly’s rescuer.
Apple Bloom, still curled up with her hoof covering her eyes, stayed motionless for just a moment longer, concerned as to why the Shadow hadn’t yet engulfed her. But then, as she dared to peek out at the world again, she noticed the treetops rushing by. She quickly sat up in disbelief, wondering what was happening, until she finally noticed that she was lying on the back of someone who was quite obviously flying, their strong wings beating on either side of her.
“Do not fear little one. You are now safe from that horrid creature.”
Apple Bloom’s eyes widened from hearing that all too familiar voice. Could it be?
The Princess of the Night was looking up at her with eyes of warmth and reassurance. The relief washed over her and suddenly she was the happiest she had ever felt since being in this nightmare.
“LUNA!” she cried out happily, unable to stop the tears that began to stream down her cheeks. Apple Bloom wrapped her forelegs around the Princess’s neck. hoping with all her might that this wasn’t another dream and the Princess wouldn’t disappear.
“It’s alright, Apple Bloom, this nightmare will be over soon,” Luna said reassuringly. “This creature is unlike any I have encountered before. There are several nightmarish creatures that I know of, but this is not one of them.”
These weren’t exactly the comforting words Apple Bloom had been hoping for. In fact, she could feel her comfort slowly slipping away.
“But I assure you,” the Princess continued. “Whatever creature this is, he will not bring any harm to you now that I’m here.”
Apple Bloom started to feel a little reassured after hearing those words and rested her head against Luna’s mane. “Thank you, Princess,” Apple Bloom said softly.
The Shadow roared from behind them. Apple Bloom looked up at the sound.
“It’s gaining on us!” gasped Apple Bloom.
Luna didn’t falter, sparing a moment to glance behind her to carefully survey the distant forest. Indeed, Apple Bloom was right. Luna picked up speed, breaking through the forest out into a patch-work field. There wasn’t much cover, but there were some bushes around it that Apple Bloom could hide in. Quickly swooping down to the sodden ground, Luna landed softly on the grass and then placed Apple Bloom on the ground.
“You need to stay hidden,” Luna instructed. She pointed near the field’s edge. “Go into those bushes and wait while I’ll contend with this shadow creature.”
Apple Bloom struggled to get up onto her legs. As soon she tried, they wobbled and immediately caved in, dropping her back down onto the damp, soggy grass.
“I can’t,” she said, her voice sounding scratchy. “I’ve been running for so long, I don’t even have tha’ strength to stand!”
Seeing the little filly’s fatigue, Luna lit her horn and lifted Apple Bloom from the ground and moved her into one of the nearby bushes. Apple Bloom stuck her head back out as Luna moved to hover above her.
“You’ll be safe here. As soon as I have vanquished the shadow creature, I should be able to awaken you from this nightmare.”
“But.. why can’t you just end the nightmare now?” Apple Bloom pleaded.
“Trust me, little one, I’ve been trying to,” Luna explained. “But, somehow, this creature is preventing me from doing so. I’m not sure what kind of dark magic it possesses, but it certainly must be strong if it can challenge my own.”
Apple Bloom attempted to gulp but the dryness of her parched throat made her go into a coughing fit. Her tongue hung low from her mouth as she panted, but not a single drop of saliva ran down from her mouth. Luna ignited her horn once more and, in a quick flash of light, a glass of water appeared from thin air. The glass lowered itself to Apple Bloom, who hastily grabbed the glass and guzzled down the sweet liquid goodness. Apple Bloom could feel the dryness in her throat wash away with each gulp she took. She didn’t even stop to catch her breath until the entire glass was finally empty.
“Thank you, Luna,” she gasped. “You have no idea how badly I needed that.”
“My pleasure, Apple Bloom. Now stay hidden and don’t move till I return.”
Apple Bloom nodded as she slid back into the bush, just before the Shadow arrived mere meters from where they once stood. Luna quickly took flight and darted towards the Shadow, swooping past it and causing the Shadow to turn away from where Apple Bloom was hiding. It didn’t have to look far though, as Luna hovered before it. She glared sternly down at the thing that lurked beneath her, and its sinister eyes glared back with anger and a hint of frustration. Luna thought it must be the fact that Apple Bloom was no longer on her back that caused its anger to rise.
“Leave the young one alone, foul creature!” Luna demanded. “She brings no threat to you.”
The Shadow released a monstrous shockwave from the center of its body which almost sent Luna somersaulting. She just barely managed to hold her own by using her magic to produce a shield around herself. Once the wave had faded, she lowered her shield and looked down at the shadow with a cold sneer. In response, the Shadow stretched itself high over the princess, but Luna was unfazed.
“If you think you can intimidate me, you’re sadly mistaken,” she proclaimed.
And without a hint of hesitation, Luna dived straight towards the shadow, which also rushed forward to meet her.
Back down in the bushes, Apple Bloom was trying to keep herself from peeking out to see, but her curiosity got the best of her. She had to see how Luna was doing.“help….”What was that?
Apple Bloom popped her head out of the bush, her right ear twitching as she looked around, but saw nothing. She then lifted her ear up and listened carefully. She was positive she’d heard something just then.
“Am I goin’ crazy, or am I hearing things now?” she asked herself.
Before Apple Bloom could figure out if she was finally going insane, her eyes landed on the battle between the Princess of the Night and the dreaded shadow creature. Her eyes widened and her mouth went slack in awe of the incredible sight she was witnessing; an Alicorn princess battling against an evil force was something few ponies had ever witnessed, even in a dream. Apple Bloom couldn’t decide whether to be excited from seeing such an incredible fight, or afraid that something terrible might happen to the Princess.
Luna swooped down close to the Shadow and shot a bright beam of magic with great force, but the Shadow just slithered past and avoided it. Luna again shot out multiple beams at different angles but the Shadow managed to dodge each of them by twisting, turning, or even opening up a gap in the center of its body to let the blast go right through it. Luna scowled in frustration, shooting straight upward before diving towards the Shadow at tremendous speeds.Wow, she’d give Rainbow Dash a run for her money,
thought Apple Bloom.
Luna was a millisecond away from the Shadow, but just as it appeared she was going to collide face to face with it, she swiftly flew straight up. The shadow looked up to see where Luna has gone only to be met with a magical blast heading towards it, its eyes widened in fear as it was engulfed in white.
As the bright light faded, Apple Bloom peered through the bushes and rubbed her eyes from the strain of trying to see through it. She looked out with anticipation. And as she had hoped, Luna was hovering with a satisfied grin on her face, as it appeared she had successfully vanquished the Shadow. But her moment of victory was quickly dashed away when the shadow moved from the within the darkness of the trees, reforming itself back into a shapeless mass, its golden eyes shining with rage as it released its terrifying roar. Both Luna and Apple Bloom looked on in disbelief, the fight seemed far from over.
“How could this be?” asked Luna.
The Shadow slithered across the ground towards Luna. She was uncertain, but it sounded as though the creature was laughing by the strange foghorn-like sound that was bellowing out of it. Luna scowled. It dared to mock her, didn't it?
“So, thou’ thinks thee can toy with us, is that it?” cried Luna as she readied herself to fly back down. “Well… let’s see how thou’ handles this!”
The rage in Luna’s eyes made Apple Bloom quiver in her bush. Looks like it’s gonna get pretty serious,
she thought, swallowing nervously. She ducked her head back into the bush, not wanting to see the massacre about to unfold, but her curiosity quickly got the better of her, and she peeked out again.
Luna headed straight for the Shadow again, and the Shadow launched itself straight up towards Luna in response. But, before they could collide, Luna quickly avoided contact with the shadow, who seemed to stumble in confusion. Luna then circled around it until she reached the bottom, and then once again soared high up into the air, her horn beginning to emit a shimmering glow. Once the shadow spotted Luna, it quickly gave chase, twisting its mass and launching itself after her and into the sky. But before it could catch up, Luna’s horn started to form a white ball of light. While she hovered in the sky, her magic expanding, the Shadow grew inches away from her.
Apple Bloom watched with worry as the Shadow moved in closer. Watch out, Luna!
The white orb grew bigger and brighter on Luna’s horn, until suddenly the orb dispersed, causing everything to turn a bright white once again. Only this time, it seemed much stronger than the last.“GGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOOOOO!”
The horrific sound that echoed from the white light clearly came from the Shadow. It had to be in unspeakable pain.
It seemed to take hours, but the brightness of the light eventually started to fade and the forest came back into view. The trees, bushes, and everything else around stood still for a brief moment as silence filled the air, leaving an unsettling sensation to fill the clearing. It was as if an explosion went off and took everything around it, yet everything remained as it was.
Apple Bloom stayed perfectly still within her bush. Was it an explosion?
She dared not look out in case she saw nothing but a desolate wasteland in its place. But after what felt like an hour, Apple Bloom began to worry for the Princess, so she peered out of the bush, rubbing her right eye from the soreness of the light. As she looked out, she saw that the forest and everything else was still standing where it was supposed to be. Not a single tree had fallen or turned to cinder.Guess it wasn’t an explosion,
thought Apple Bloom. But then what did Luna….
Before Apple Bloom could ask, she had already found her answer standing before her.
The Shadow’s entire body was slumped over on the ground like a muddy puddle, while Luna continued to hover above. She was still wielding a bright white orb on the tip of her horn. and looking down sternly at the creature.
Apple Bloom’s eyes widened in awe. A huge grin started to form on Apple Bloom’s face; tears swelled in her eyes, relief and joy filling her at long last. Finally, the nightmare was over. A part of her just wanted to leap up and shout out loud with happiness, but she dared not to risk jinxing it all.
The Shadow made an abnormal sound as it sunk further into itself. It was as if it was moaning in agony.
“It appears that thou’ hast finally met thine end,” declared Luna. “Thou’ hast fought valiantly, strange creature. However, it is time this nightmare ends.”
Luna steadied herself as the white orb on her horn started shimmering again. The Shadow moaned painfully from the sensation the white orb was sending out.
Apple Bloom poked her head out of the bush in anticipation. The sooner Luna finished off the monster, the sooner she could be back in her cozy bed again.“Help…”
There it was again, Apple Bloom eyes darted around as she once again heard that strange voice.
“Now I know I’m not goin’ crazy,” she said.
Apple Bloom looked all around her, lifting her ear up to hear anything she could. But aside from the noise from the Shadow, there was nothing else around.
“Hello?” Apple Bloom called, “Is there anypony there?”“Help…”
Apple Bloom heard it again. This time she knew exactly which direction it came from. She looked in front of her, but all she could see was the Shadow. Apple Bloom’s eyes blinked in thought, Surely it wasn’t...“Help me…”
Apple Bloom’s eyes flew wide and her jaw hung open, her face frozen in absolute shock. The Shadow was crying for help.
“It can’t be,” gasped Apple Bloom.
But somehow, deep down in her heart, she knew it was true; the Shadow was calling out for help, but why? Should she really try and help it after everything it did to her?
Apple Bloom didn’t know what to do. A part of her wanted nothing more but to see the Shadow disappear for good. But as she looked at how helpless the shadow was, Apple Bloom felt in her heart that she shouldn’t let this happen.I… how can I be thinking to give this monster a chance? After everythin’ it put me through. This Shadow has to go… but still...
As Apple Bloom struggled with her choice, Luna looked ready to strike the final blow from her horn. Apple Bloom stared up at Luna, then back at the Shadow, holding her head with her hooves as her frustration grew. She didn’t have time to be indecisive!
“Tis’ over for you shadow creature,” Luna called out as the white orb radiated from her horn.
The energy from the orb made the Shadow sink deeper and deeper, unable to bear the strong glow.Help… me…
Apple Bloom looked up at the shadow, who looked back at her.Please…
Apple Bloom’s eyes grew wide, certainty flooding her mind. She made her decision.
“Be gone,” declared Luna as she readied herself to fire.
Luna froze in place, the orb remained still on the tip of her horn. She stared down and noticed Apple Bloom walking out from her bush and making her way toward the Shadow.
“Apple Bloom, stop!” Luna cried out to her. “What are you doing?”
Apple Bloom approached the Shadow with concern in her eyes as she stared up at it. She couldn’t be certain, but something about it just felt… grateful.
“It’s alright, Luna,” Apple Bloom called up to her. “The Shadow’s okay.”
Luna hovered, looking absolutely confused. “Apple Bloom, this creature tried to harm you. It’s been chasing after you for ages and put you in a never ending nightmare. Why would you want to help it after everything it did?”
Apple Bloom looked down dejectedly. “I know Luna. But…” She looked up at the Shadow as it stared back at her with sparkles in its eyes. Apple Bloom lifted her hoof and started to stroke the Shadow. It felt weird, but yet comfortable, like a blanket. “I just couldn’t bring myself to see it get hurt.”
Luna looked at Apple Bloom with more confusion than ever. “But why?” she asked.
“I can’t explain it, but I kept hearing someone calling out for help,” she explained. “At first I thought I was hearing things. But then, just as you had it cornered, I could hear the cry for help coming from him.”
Luna was baffled. “I did not hear a cry for help.”
“I’m sure I did. And it did sound like it was coming from the Shadow. I know it tried ta’ hurt me, but just because he was trying to doesn’t mean that we should. I can never bring myself to see others get hurt even when they try ta hurt me.”
Luna was astounded. Never had she seen a little filly defend something like that monster that tried to harm her.There is something special about this filly,
thought Luna and then gasped. Could it be...
Before they knew it, the Shadow sprung up and roared its strange metallic sound through the forest. The force of it shook Luna off balance and shattered the white orb from her horn. The Shadow towered over Apple Bloom, glaring down at her with evil intentions in its eyes.
Apple Bloom looked up in despair. After defending it from Luna, she hoped the Shadow would change “Please,” she pleaded. “Don’t do this. I know ya’ don’t want to do this, I can feel it. This ain’t what ya’ want.”
But her pleas failed as the Shadow launched itself down at her, its massive body formed into something like a mouth.
As Luna regained herself, she looked down in horror at what was about to happen, “Apple Bloom!” she cried.
“NOOOO!” screamed Apple Bloom.
Before anyone knew it, a burst of light brightened from above them, stopping the Shadow in its tracks. Once again it screeched in agony and slithered away into the dark trees to protect itself. As the light began to fade, Apple Bloom had her hoof over her eyes to protect them from the blinding light.Sure wish Luna didn’t have ta turn up the light so much,
But as soon as she was able to see, she looked up at the sky and quickly noticed Luna rubbing her eyes as she too tried to regain her sight.Wait, if Luna didn’t do that, then who…
Apple Bloom’s mouth fell open as she stared up in awe, watching Princess Celestia herself descending down towards them from the black sky.
Once Luna was also able to see, she got the same disbelieving expression as Apple Bloom.
“Sister?” asked Luna. “What are you doing here in Apple Bloom’s dream?”
Apple Bloom looked over at Luna, who looked more confused than ever. Apparently, Apple Bloom had thought of something that Luna hadn’t for some reason.
“Luna, get Apple Bloom and follow me. We haven’t much time.” Celestia instructed, as she flew off over the forest.
“But sister—” Luna started to say before Celestia flew off.
Without wasting another moment, Luna swooped down to Apple Bloom and scooped her up onto her back, following after Celestia. Apple Bloom laid herself against Luna, trying to take in all that had just happened. Hopefully now that Celestia was here, she could get the answers she’d been after...
It wasn’t long until the princesses were flying just above a grassy field. Apple Bloom looked back to see the forest growing further away, a sense of relief washing over her as she realized she was finally out of there for good.
Celestia peered down below and spotted a patched field, then looked back to see just how far they had come from the forest.
“This looks far enough,” she exclaimed. “Let us land in that field.”
The two princesses descended over the field, their hooves touching down softly on the grass. Once landed, Apple Bloom hopped off of Luna onto the damp ground. It must have rained recently, but when Apple Bloom lifted up her hoof, there wasn’t a droplet of water on it.
“Sister, please explain yourself,” Luna spoke with a hint of annoyance. “Why have you come into Apple Bloom’s dream? I had the nightmare creature under control.”
“Uh,” Apple Bloom stammered as the two princesses looked down at her. “Not to interrupt, but how is it possible for Celestia to even be here?”
“It is not impractical for us to appear through teleporting, little one,” Luna explained. “It is how we go about when needed the most.”
“That’s true,” Apple Bloom agreed. “But I didn’t think that Celestia could get in my dreams. Didn’t you say she hasn’t got power in the dream world like you.”
Luna froze in her response, her mouth hanging wide open in shock as she realized that Apple Bloom was right. Other than herself, nopony had the power to enter into ponies’ dreams. She hastily turned to Celestia. “She is correct, sister. How is it that you have managed to enter her dream without the correct method to do so? Have you used a spell of some kind?”
“There is no spell needed for this, Luna,” Celestia explained. “My presence here has nothing to do with a dream. This is not a dream at all.
Luna’s expression faltered from shock to disbelief, as did Apple Bloom’s. For a moment neither of them spoke. Then, Apple Bloom lifted up her hoof and noticed that she still had the graze from that jagged stone a while ago.
“She’s right. I grazed my hoof on a stone back in the forest and it hurt, just like in real life” Apple Bloom said, showing the wound on her hoof.
“But then, if none of this is a dream, what is this place?” Apple Bloom asked. “And how did I get here?”
“Though this isn’t a dream, it is a world that makes everything around us appear like a nightmare. Which is exactly what this creature had intended for you when he transported you here,” Celestia explained.
“Transported?” Apple Bloom was baffled.
“Sister, you don’t mean...” Luna questioned.
“The creature has brought Apple Bloom into an alternate dimension; one that disconnects from Equestria.”
Apple Bloom’s whole body wobbled like jelly, her face paling as she slumped down onto the grass. “Another dimension?” she muttered. “Not Equestria?”
Celestia walked up to the frightened filly and placed a reassuring hoof on her mane, stroking it gently to comfort her.
“It’s alright, Apple Bloom. You're safe now, and will be back home soon,” Celestia reassured her.
Apple Bloom just sat perplexed. “But why me?” she asked. “What did it take me for?”
“I’m sorry little one, but I’m not quite sure of that. The only explanation I can think of is that the creature is after something. Why it is you, I have yet to understand.”
“Perhaps Apple Bloom possesses something that the creature sees as a threat?” Luna theorized. “I’ve noticed that there is something quite special about Apple Bloom. The way she offered to protect it from me, as I was about to vanquish it, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”
“I just wanted ta’ help it. I couldn’t stand seeing something get hurt even if it had tried to hurt me,” Apple Bloom said.
Celestia smiled down at Apple Bloom. “Clearly you have a good heart, Apple Bloom. Perhaps Luna might be onto something, as to why the creature took you in the first place.”
“But what is that thing anyway? And what does it want me for?”
“I believe I may know,” Celestia explained. “Recently, there have been signs of strange, abnormal magic across Equestria. Weather has been happening at random beyond pegasi control, and unicorns have experienced strange electrical interference through their horns that we originally assumed was a flu of some sort. That was until today when I sensed a horrid entity; one that I feared may be worse than any other foe we have ever encountered before.”
Apple Bloom gulped. “Ya think that the creature is the cause of it?”
“Indeed,” Celestia nodded, “I believe that he has been searching for something. Something that he needs or something he wants,”
“Something that would help it...” Luna said.
“Help it how?” asked Apple Bloom.
“I am not precisely certain, but it seems that the creature is unstable. It must be searching for a way to maintain itself from going out of control and likely destroying itself, as well as everything else around it.”
“This does explain a few things,” Luna said. “The interference from the creature must have interrupted my dream cycle and led me to this dimension by mistake.”
“Precisely, sister,” said Celestia.
“So now what?” Apple Bloom asked.
“We must return to Equestria and alert the others. We must be prepared for what lies ahead,” Celestia explained.
“But isn’t there some way ta’ help the Shadow?” Apple Bloom insisted “If it’s looking for help then shouldn’t we try and help it?”
Celestia and Luna both looked at each other, but before either of them could answer, an all too familiar sound echoed from the forest and spread across the entire area.
All three ponies stared towards the forest and noticed the shadow emerging from the trees and making its way towards them. Its entire mass spread over the black sky as it rose, casting everything under it in a veil of impenetrable darkness.
“It’s coming!” cried Apple Bloom.
The two alicorn sisters looked at one another and both gave a nod of understanding. Quickly, Luna flew up from the grass and hovered over and back down to Apple Bloom’s side, while Celestia did the same. As Apple Bloom stood in the middle of the two alicorn princesses, she looked at them with curiosity in her eyes.
“So what are we gonna do?” asked the scared little filly.
“We’re sending you home,” answered Celestia, as her horn ignited in a golden aura.
Luna’s horn also started to glow with its own dark blue magic.
Apple Bloom felt her hooves leave the grass as she started rising up into the air; a white light slowly started to appear above her.
“Wait, what about you two?” asked Apple Bloom. “Aren’t ya’ coming back?”
“Do not worry about us, Apple Bloom. We must remain here to hold off the shadow,” Celestia explained.
“But what am I supposed ta’ do?” cried Apple Bloom as she was lifted higher. “How do I get the others to get here?”
“All in due time, Apple Bloom. For now you must return home. Stay close to Princess Twilight, your sister and their friends. It is up to all of you to keep Equestria from falling into an eternity of shadow. Remember you’re the only one…
But Apple Bloom couldn’t make out the rest of what Princess Celestia was saying as the white light grew so bright it drowned out everything else. There was nothing but white all around her, and soon not a sound could be heard…
” the rooster crowed as the sun rose over Sweet Apple Acres.
The sun shone through Apple Bloom’s bedroom window, spreading the light across the wooden floor to her bed where Apple Bloom was snoring soundly underneath her messed up covers.
“Rise and shine everypony! Time ta’ get today’s harvest in,” Granny Smith called out from downstairs.
Apple Bloom let out a hefty moan as she started to wake. For some reason after sleeping, she still felt tired, exhausted even.
“Gosh, what happened ta’ me last night?” she muttered.
She slumped off her bed with the cover still draped over her as she made her way to her bedroom door. As she made her way through the hall she started to realize her head was feeling fuzzy, but she wasn’t sure why.
“That was some dream I must have had,” she wondered aloud “Except, I can’t remember what it was about… strange.”
She walked into the bathroom and slammed the door shut with her back hoof. She pulled up a stool to the sink and stepped up to it, peering out of the covers and seeing her own tired expression in the mirror.
“Horseapples, I look more tired than Applejack during Applebuck Season,” laughed Apple Bloom.
“I HEARD THAT!” called Applejack from her room.
Apple Bloom let out a giggle, “Oh well, whatever that dream was it’s over now. It’s a new day and I can’t wait ta’ see what it’s gonna bring.”
She turned on the tap and the water began pouring out. After a minute, she slipped off her cover and started splashing the water on her face.
“Aaaahhh, that feels better,” she sighed.
She turned off the tap, grabbed a towel, and wiped her face dry. Once she finished, she removed the towel from her face and gave her head a shake, then opened her eyes and looked at her reflection. Her eyes suddenly shrunk to a pinpoint as she noticed the long unicorn horn sticking out of her forehead. Before she could question this, two large wings flapped open from both sides of her. She peered up at the horn, then slowly turned to look at the left wing now attached to her side before looking back at the mirror.
“It’s gonna be one of those days, huh?” she asked.
Then she fell forward, her head landing in the sink with a splash.