The Dream Stalker

Princess Luna slips through the dreams of her subjects, helping them conquer their fears and anxieties in any way she can.
But its a thankless task... one that often leaves Luna filled with the old bitterness she once felt before her banishment. The bitterness begins to take hold until, one night, she stumbles upon a pony who dreams exclusively of her... Perhaps her task wasn't as unappreciated as she thought.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/196944/the-dream-stalker

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4. Night 4: Apple Bloom, Coco Pommel & Pipsqueak

“One egg, two cups butter… half cup sugar…” Apple Bloom recited all the ingredients she was going to need. “Half cup brown sugar? Oh no…” She ran to the cupboard and began searching for the missing ingredient. It was early in the morning and if she wanted to surprise Apple Jack with homemade cookies she was going to have to be quick.

“Oh, here it is!” she happily gasped. Apple Bloom slowly pulled the brown sugar out of the cupboard and turned back to the table. Shocked and horrified, she realized the table had caught fire! “What the!?”

Dropping the brown sugar, Apple Bloom ran over the sink and filled a bowl with water. She ran back and threw the contents onto the fire. Steam filled the room but, it was all worth it, as the fire was doused. “Whew,” she sighed.

Calming herself, Apple Bloom organized her ingredients and cleaned off the table. The fire was crazy, but it was over now. She could focus. Right as she was about to start mixing, Big Mac dashed into the room.

“Apple Bloom! Are the cookies ready!?” he asked in a panic.

“Huh?” Apple Bloom asked.

“The cookies? Are they ready?”

“How did you know I was going to bake cookies?”

“They’re the cookies we’re giving to the delegates of Saddle Arabia, don’t you remember!?”

“What!?” Apple Bloom gasped, again shocked. “They are!? I thought… I thought I was making them for Apple Jack?”

“Nooope!” Big Mac replied. “We need them now!”

“Oh no…”

Apple Bloom grabbed everything and threw it all into a bowl and began mixing. When was she supposed to make cookies for delegates from Saddle Arabia!? She didn’t have time to think about it now! Big Mac needed those cookies!

In no time flat she threw balls of dough onto a baking tray and got them into the oven. As Apple Bloom set the timer she heard a loud explosion. Whipping around, she saw that the oven housing her cookies had exploded! Exploded! There was a hole in the side of the house and the smoking wreckage of the kitchen had caught on fire.

Stunned into silence, Apple Bloom simply stared at the kitchen in disbelief. “What is going on?” she whispered to herself.

“Apple Bloom! What is this!?”

She turned and saw Apple Jack entering the kitchen. “Apple Jack! I, uh… can explain! I didn’t know cookies were combustible!”

“Apple Bloom! We don’t have time for that! We need to start harvesting the zap apples!”

“Already!? I… I don’t remember seeing a meteor shower?”

“Hurry, Apple Bloom!” Big Mac suddenly jumped into the conversation. “You need to bake those cookies, clean this kitchen, fix the oven and help us with the zap apple harvest!”

And the prom is tomorrow!” Apple Jack added in a stressed-out voice.

Apple Bloom began hyperventilating. There was so much to do and everything she touched somehow burst into flames! “I… Okay, pull it together, Apple Bloom!” she told herself aloud. “You got this! You got this!”

She immediately ran outside, grabbed some wood and tools and began preparing to fix the house. “I need to fix the kitchen first before I can bake cookies,” she muttered aloud, trying to organize her thoughts while she worked. She lifted a hammer and struck it against a nail to start building a wall when a tiny spark flew from the strike and caught fire to the wood.

“What the!? Not again!”

Apple Bloom ran around looking for water, any water, to get the fire to stop. Everypony else was busy with the zap apples… what was she going to do!? The fire was growing at outrageous speeds, consuming the wood and jumping to the barn in a matter of moments.  

Princess Luna had seen enough. With her powerful magic she banished the fire from the dream and put an end to the chaos. Apple Bloom stood before her, momentarily confused.

“Princess Luna?” Apple Bloom finally asked. “What’re you doing here?”

“Apple Bloom,” Luna said with a sigh. “What is troubling you, child? Why do you feel as though you destroy everything you touch?”

The little filly hung her head and kicked at the ground. “I… I don’t know… Lately I just feel as though I’m no help… I just want to help ponies, Princess Luna… I just don’t know how.”

Princess Luna smiled. She was in a good mood from last night and she knew now what she needed to do. “I know a pony that needs your help, Apple Bloom.”

“You do?” Apple Bloom lifted her head and half-smiled. “My help?”

“Yes. Follow me.”

Luna led the little filly to the woods. Luna didn’t normally combine the dreams of ponies, but sometimes it was necessary to find resolution for both ponies. Plus, Luna had realized that sometimes ponies need someone else in order to make them whole again…

The woods became twisted and rotted and Luna knew that Silver Spoon was having the same nightmare as before. When they finally came to the three way intersection, Apple Bloom was trembling with fear. The sky was red and the trees a dark, twisted black.

“Are you sure some pony needs my help?” Apple Bloom asked.

Luna pointed to the gray filly on the road. It was Silver Spoon. She had yet to see them and she was still staring at the paths before, frozen in fear. Apple Bloom ran to the other filly and Luna used her magic to conceal herself. Now she would watch and see what happened…

“Silver Spoon!” Apple Bloom gasped once she got closer. “What are you doing out here?”

“Apple Bloom! Thank Celestia you came!” Silver Spoon ran to Apple Bloom and threw her hooves around the other filly’s neck. “I got lost and… and… I don’t know the way back, Apple Bloom!”

“All right, calm down. I’ll get us back.”

“You will? Thank you, Apple Bloom! Thank you so much!”

Apple Bloom blushed. “Ah, it’s no big deal. We’ll just take one of these here paths.” Without hesitation, Apple Bloom picked a direction and began walking. She’s always at least willing to try, Luna thought. Willing to put in the effort, even if she fails. She tries and tries again.

The two fillies wandered the dark and gloomy path. Silver Spoon was glued to Apple Bloom’s side, constantly glancing over her shoulder to make sure no pony was following them. “How do you know we’re going the right way?”

“I got a feeling. Plus, if we get lost, we’ll just go back.” Apple Bloom pointed to a light up ahead. “Look! Those are houses! It must be Ponyville! See? I told you this was right!”

“Apple Bloom! You did it! You saved me!” Silver Spoon ran out head and began jumping about. “I can’t believe it! I thought Diamond Tiara would come for me, but… but she never did. You did, Apple Bloom… You did…”

“Ah, think nothing of it,” Apple Bloom said with laugh. “I’m just glad I was finally able to help some pony out.”

Silver Spoon stopped jumping and looked at her long and hard. “Apple Bloom… I’m sorry I called you blank-flank all those times.”

Apple Bloom was shocked. “I… er… Don’t mention it. I’ve forgiven you.”

“R-really? Just like that?”

“Yeah. We’re just fillies. I’m sure you didn’t mean it. That’s what my sister says, anyway.”

Tears welled up in Silver Spoon’s eyes. “Wow… Thanks, Apple Bloom…”

Princess Luna laughed to herself as she stepped out of the nightmare world. The two fillies had needed each other in that moment and now they were happy. Both would have better dreams in the future…

---

Luna stepped through the many dreamscapes with a lighter step. She felt better about herself. She knew she could help the ponies around her. When she landed in the next dream she kept that positive spirit with her but she was soon confused.

Luna found herself standing in a small thatch-roof house. It was run-down and filthy… squalor at its best. She examined the tarnished furniture with a sneer. What was this?

“Stop, brother! Stop!”

Hiding herself, Luna watched the dream unfold. There was a small filly being carried by an older colt. The filly had an off-white coat and two-tone blue mane. At first Luna didn’t recognize the filly, but then she realized it was Coco Pommel… only younger.

It was rare to find ponies that dreamed of themselves younger or older than they really were. It typically wasn’t a good sign. Luna watched with a keen eye.

The older colt, the same colors as she was, threw her into the hallway closet and locked the door. “Ha! Now what’re you going to do, Coco? This’ll teach you to go touching my things!”

“It wasn’t me!” Coco Pommel’s muffled voice from the other side of the door shouted. “I never touched your things! Please let me out!”

“You’re gonna wait there,” the colt snickered before trotting out of the house.

Silence settled over everything and Luna stepped out of the shadows. Had the colt really locked Coco in the closet and left her there? Luna used her magic to see through the wall. The filly version of Coco Pommel was sitting in the closet, crying. Her face was bruised and her legs scuffed up. She was small for her age in the dream… small and weak.

Turning on the light in the closet, Coco rolled onto the shoes and stroked the jackets. Her cutie mark was a large-brimmed hat with a feather, the same hat hanging in the closet. “Why are they so mean to me?” she whispered to the clothing. “Why?”

With a heavy sigh she rummaged through the closet and pulled out an old sewing machine. Had she been locked in the closet before? Had she tucked that machine away to sew during her periods of isolation?

Coco Pommel began sewing. Each and every thing she created a dull color and same shade of her bruises. She was unhappy and it reflected in her work. Slowly, but with much skill, the filly Coco Pommel stitched a dark purple cape. It looked regal, despite the obvious dreary nature and, for a moment, Coco smiled.

The colt from the dream suddenly returned to the scene. He was accompanied by second colt, one who looked nearly identical. Luna suspected they were twins. Both colts opened the closet door with a slam and Coco jumped, startled by their appearance.

“B-brothers,” she stammered.

“What did we tell you about sewing,” one colt said, grabbing the cape she had made and holding it just high enough to be out of her reach. “Mom doesn’t want you ripping up anymore clothes for fabric!”

“I didn’t,” Coco tried to explain, reaching for the cape. “I bought the cloth myself! Mom can’t tell me what to do!”

Both the brothers laughed and jeered, pushing Coco around as she started to cry. “You’re gonna help dad work the farm when you’re older, Coco! You ain’t gonna be no fashion designer!”

Her brother mercilessly ripped up the cape in front of her, laughing the entire time. Coco tried to stop him, but she was too small and they were too big. When they were done they grabbed the sewing machine and smashed it against the ground, shattering the sewing end and breaking the needle.

“Try sewing now, Coco!” one brother pointed and laughed.

“You think your tears are gonna fix it?” the other brother mocked.

Coco ran from the house, hot tears streaming down her face. It was raining outside, the dream reflecting her inner turmoil. Luna couldn’t stand to see the mare so unhappy… Using her magic, she decided to do what she did with Silver Spoon… She would combine dreams and help another pony at the same time.

The dreams merged seamlessly and Coco didn’t even notice that she had run straight into a dreamscape of Ponyville. Tears still marking her face when she ran straight into Rarity, who had just stepped off the runway in her latest fashion-show dream.

“Oh my,” Rarity gasped. “Coco Pommel? Is that you?”

“R-Rarity?” The filly version of Coco stepped away. “Don’t look at me!” she suddenly burst out, hiding her face with her hooves.

“Whatever is the matter, dear? Are you all right? Are you hurt?”

“Don’t look! I don’t want you to see me like this!”

Rarity quickly hugged the little filly. “Coco… I’m your friend. I’m here to help you.”

Coco slowly calmed herself and turned back to Rarity. She was still in her filly form, making her easy to pick up and carry. “I… I thought you would laugh at me… like my brothers did…”

“I would never laugh at you, darling,” Rarity said flatly. “Why would I do that?”

“I’m… I’m so weak and…”

Rarity carried the filly to her boutique and waved away her concerns. “Pish posh! I will hear no such thing! An artist such as yourself must have inner confidence. That’s the only way to survive this world of harsh criticisms. You’re talented Coco. Everypony sees it.”

With a smile, Coco followed Rarity around her boutique. “You mean it?”

“Of course. I don’t say things I don’t mean.”

Luna watched from the shadows, a smile upon her face. Rarity was allowing Coco to sew with her, and the memories of her childhood were slowly being forgotten. It was a happy dream, one where two ponies with similar interests were together.

Remembering Pip, Luna decided to leave the dream early. She knew they would be okay now that they had each other. She wanted to find her own happiness tonight…

---

Luna walked into the dreamscape of Ponyville with a smile. She could see Pipsqueak already; he was sitting in front of his house, looking up at the sky. Not bothering to conceal herself, Luna approached the pinto colt with her head held high.

“Princess Luna!” he happily gasped. “You came back!” Pip immediately jumped up and hopped around her.

“A warm welcome to you, Pip.”

“I’ve been taking my duty seriously, princess! I’ve been watching the sky and hoping you’ll come to visit!”

“You’ve been waiting?”

“Yes! Of course! I set up watch and now I’ll be here whenever you need me!” Pip stopped in front of her and smiled. “You never have to worry about being alone again!”

“I must confess; your company has given me the light within to continue my duty as the Princess of the Night. I was hoping we could share an adventure again.”

“An adventure!?” he gasped in delight. “I love adventures! I’ve always wanted to sail the open sea as a pirate! It would be fun looking for buried treasure!”

Luna flew up into the air and activated her magic. “A pirate adventure it is!” In a flash the dream had shifted from Ponyville to the deck of a pirate ship. It was all worth it for the look in Pip’s eyes when he realized where they were.

He was so happy and… that was enough for Luna.

 

 

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