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Gallery Volunteer
Jun 5, 2013
beyond the dream
Three by three, nine by nine, eighty-one. Gramarye squinted his eyes, following Caramel Corn and Sunny Daze. Trit-trot trit-trot. Damn the Mannequin and his treachery. A wheezing laugh slipped from Gramarye's lips. Night fall was coming. Yes, night fall was coming and the night's knights would fall. Black and red, they would fall upon these two girls. Guilt? Nonsense. Association with the Mannequin is unequivocal guilt. They took her, they killed her. Revenge is the only justice. The Mannequin must suffer. Creaking bones, muffled steps in loose dirt, sneaking silently. Closer and closer, soon they will sleep.

The sun set. The time to work had begun.

The path stretched on into the distance. Sunny glanced over her shoulder, unable to shake the uneasy feeling that somebody was following her. "A-Are you sure we're alone?"

"Of course we are!" Caramel responded confidently. "Well, maybe not." Sunny looked ahead and saw a decrepit old pony meandering his way towards them. Their eyes met for a moment and the old pony nodded politely before passing on his way. Sunny breathed an uneasy sigh of relief. The trip between towns was long, often lasting for a week or more. There was usually nothing to worry about, but strange things had been occurring as of late.

An hour passed in silence, Sunny and Caramel focused simply on making as much progress as they could. Still, something felt off to Sunny. Nothing was out of the ordinary, and yet something was. "Caramel, are you really sure there's no one following us?" Sunny asked, her voice barely breaking a whisper.

Caramel seemed to not hear. Looking ahead, she noticed another pony, again coming down the road past them. Rather strangely, this pony was identical to the last, nodding politely before passing on his way. Caramel as well seemed to pick up on the oddity, shooting Sunny a confused look. They both watched the old pony disappear into the distance behind them. Once more looking ahead, Sunny jumped into the air, barely catching herself with her wings. The old pony was ahead of them, walking down the path.

Landing, Sunny avoided looking the old pony in the eye as he passed. There was a whisper and Sunny's eyes went wide, her hind legs trembling and weak with fright. "Hello, Sunny." She looked over her shoulder, her mane falling over one eye. The old pony stood right there, red eyes staring blankly at her. Sunny's throat closed up as she desperately tried to make a sound. Her legs crumpled as the old pony began to grow even older. Caramel was struck by the same fright, tears welling up in her eyes.

The old pony took a step closer, fur falling off with each movement. His skin turned black and tightened, sticking close to the bone. Bulbous black boils quickly grew and erupted on his stomach, his eyes shriveling and rolling back into his skull. "Sunny Daze."

Sunny's heart threatened to burst through her chest as the old pony leaned close, his black skin tearing. Finally, Sunny's voice came back to her, as she screamed in terror, her eyes fiercely closed. It wasn't enough. She could feel him leaning in closer, his breath on her ear as he continued to say her name.

"Sunny. Sunny. Sunny."

Opening her eyes ever so slightly, Sunny looked around, her heart still racing. Caramel leaned over her, a look of concern on her face. "Are you alright?"

Sunny looked around quickly. It was early dawn and not a sight of the old pony. "I-It was j-just a dream," Sunny stammered out. She rose, shivering in the cold morning.

Yes. Just a dream. Tearing. One by one, tearing, screaming, crying. Gramarye knew the truth. Dreams were the easiest way. Reality isn't reality. Dolus could come again. Dolus will come again. Yes, Dolus will come for Dolus is not in just dreams. Dreams are reality. The old pony's blue-grey coat was overtaken by a purple hue, turning to an earthen red. Now is the time for Dolus, for reality isn't real, but dreams are.