© Beloved Doll
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TenderSweet, ShadowSentry, MidnightHallow, Druid, Dead Eye, StratSlice, Constellation, Mourn, Somber, December, Moonlight, Waffles, Nightmare Castle and Nightmare Ponies concept/group are created and owned by me, Beloved Doll.
All other ponies, Spike and the whole My Little Pony franchise along with other locations (example: PonyVille) and structures (example: Dream Castle) are (c) Hasbro.
Note: This series is written as the characters are bi-pedal, rather than the traditional 4-legged form.
Note 2: I use ponies from various generations, not just the G4/Friendship is Magic (FiM).
A mysterious, black castle has appeared in Ponyville seemingly overnight. It is off to the side of Ponyville but on a small hill as if it wanted to be able to maintain watch over Ponyville. It feels eerie as it looms over Ponyville. The ponies of Ponyville feel a little paranoid about the presence of this castle and find themselves occasionally looking at this castle with worrisome curiosity.
None of the ponies have seen anyone or anything go in or come out of the dark castle. Who even lives there, if anyone? Are they friends? Are they foes? No one has been brave enough to approach the castle to find out, not even any of the mischievous colts.
After some time of no activity, the ponies begin to slowly recover from being paranoid about the castle and their general happiness returns to the whole town. The castle doesn`t seem to be bringing any doom to the ponies so why worry? Nothing bad is happening.
One day, Twilight Sparkle is exiting the waffle shop with Applejack. They just had breakfast in the shop, eating waffles of course, while carrying a friendly conversation with the pony who runs the shop (who also happens to be named Waffles). Applejack thanks Twilight Sparkle for treating her to breakfast. Just as Twilight Sparkle is saying "you`re welcome" to Applejack, another pony quickly runs up to them.
It`s a white-bodied, young mare named TenderSweet. Her white coat is shiny and her teal-coloured mane and tail are shimmery. Her red eyes look worried as she breathlessly speaks to Twilight Sparkle and Applejack. Her voice is very soft and sweet sounding, much like Fluttershy, only a bit higher pitched and not as quiet,"Oh, I`m so sorry to interrupt you girls. But I`m running late and I need help."
Applejack gives TenderSweet a reassuring smile,"No problem, sugarcube. What`s the matter?"
TenderSweet seems relieved that Applejack and Twilight Sparkle aren`t angry at her for interrupting. She takes a quick breath before speaking again,"Today is the first day of my dancing lessons and I can`t find Twinkle Twirl`s Dance Studio. I was supposed to have been there 10 minutes ago. Do either of you know where I can find it."
Twilight Sparkle beams up,"Oh! I know where that is."
She turns to the left, pointing in that direction,"Just go down this path and over the bridge. You can`t miss it."
TenderSweet smiles,"Thank you so much. I`m so glad to know that I`m not far away from it."
She begins to gallop off and she calls out another "thank you" to Applejack and Twilight Sparkle. Applejack then turns to Twilight Sparkle,"So, TenderSweet finally took your advice in taking dancing classes, huh?"
Twilight Sparkle turns back to Applejack,"Yep, sure looks like it. I`m glad. I felt so bad that she would turn down parties because she felt so embarrassed by not being able to dance."
Applejack nods in agreement,"Me, too. Poor girl was as frightened of the dance floor as a mouse is of a cat."
"Speaking of cats, is Fluttershy still at the groomers with Rarity`s cat, Opal?"
"Probably. That cat gets pampered as if she were royalty."
Twilight Sparkle gives a giggle and begins to walk with Applejack walking with her.
At Twinkle Twirl`s Dance Studio, TenderSweet rushes in. She silently hopes that no one is mad that she is late. When she enters, she finds that class has already started. Everyone is in their own dance clothes (of various styles and colours). Twinkle Twirl is giving instructions to everyone as TenderSweet comes in. Upon finishing the instructions, Twinkle Twirl gives TenderSweet her attention,"I`m glad you made it, TenderSweet. Come on in and join us."
TenderSweet finds herself at relief again that no one is mad. Her lateness is due to that she couldn`t find the studio but now that she knows where it is, TenderSweet makes a mental note to herself to be more punctual next time. She changes into her dance clothes then joins in on the class.
The classes are for two hours each and are twice a week.
TenderSweet quickly finds that she is quite clumsy and seems to lack balance. She feels embarrassed as she stumbles and trips, even falling a couple of times. This is precisely why she always avoided dancing; she is just too clumsy. However, TenderSweet isn`t going to quit the classes so soon. To improve her dancing skills is why she is taking these classes to begin with.
Watching TenderSweet struggle with just the basics, the gears in Twinkle Twirl`s brain are turning, trying to come up with how she might be able to help TenderSweet break into the swing of things. Everyone else don`t appear to be so awkward so TenderSweet is going to have a much rougher time catching up.
After the two hour class is over, the participants are working on undressing from their dance clothes. As TenderSweet is putting her dance clothes in her messenger bag, Twinkle Twirl approaches her,"TenderSweet? I`d like to talk to you for a minute."
TenderSweet slowly turns to Twinkle Twirl,"Oh dear...Was I that bad?"
Twinkle Twirl gives TenderSweet a smile and tries to make this as kind as she can,"Well, I can see that you need some extra help in some areas, like balance. I was going to offer you some extra one-on-one time to work on that. I think it will help you if you can get some extra class time tailored to your specific needs."
TenderSweet gives an embarrassed smile and tilts her head down,"Oh gosh...I really was terrible, huh?"
"But that`s why you`re taking my classes, right? I`m here to help you. I can give you those extra sessions for free, if it`s the money you`re worried about. We can meet up after these other classes once a week and have an hour`s time for practice. I can also give you some exercises you can practice at home to help with your balance."
TenderSweet lifts her head back up,"Really? That`s wonderful. Thank you, Twinkle Twirl. I could really use the extra help."
Twinkle Twirl`s smile grows,"Not a problem. Let`s begin those extra courses after the next session. I would start you tonight but I have some plans made already. Is that ok?"
"Sure. That works out perfectly."
"Excellent. Then I`ll see you next class."
Twinkle Twirl walks off to disrobe from her own dance clothes.
As TenderSweet exits the studio with her messenger bag slung over her shoulder, she smiles a little to herself. She is glad to see that Twinkle Twirl is being so patient with her, even offering extra help. TenderSweet begins to hope that perhaps it is possible for her to improve and she may be able to one day party comfortably with her friends.
The comes a familiar voice from beside TenderSweet,"Hey, how did class go?"
TenderSweet turns and sees Rainbow Dash sitting on the edge of the fence. TenderSweet smiles seeing her. TenderSweet looks up to Rainbow Dash for her amazing abilities. TenderSweet responds,"Well, not as well as I had hoped..."
"Is that so? Well, I hope you keep at it. Practice makes perfect. We all want to see you at the parties, especially Pinkie Pie."
"I know, she gets so disappointed when I turn her invitations down."
"A party ain`t 100% without all of your friends there. How long do you think before you`ll start coming?"
TenderSweet shakes her head,"I don`t know. It will depend on how long it will take for me to reach a decent skill level."
"I hope that`s soon. Well, time for me to go. See ya!"
In a quick flash, Rainbow Dash takes up to the sky, flying back to her home. TenderSweet watches her fly off with a smile. She is happy to hear that Rainbow Dash is supportive of her. She continues her way back home, ready to rest; the dance class was pretty tiring.
AppleBloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo all rush past TenderSweet, running at top speed. TenderSweet immediately stops in her tracks as the small group of rambunctious young fillies. She smiles as she watches them run off, playing some sort of game no doubt. When they are out of sight, she continues on to her home.
The three fillies, also known as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, are running to their clubhouse in Sweet Apple Acres, home to AppleBloom and Applejack. They bolt past Macintosh with nothing but the sound of giggles behind them. Macintosh pays them little mind as he`s grown accustomed to the group playing here a lot since their acquisition of their clubhouse.
The fillies run through the apple trees until they hit a small clearing which contains their clubhouse up in a tree. One by one they climb up to their clubhouse and enter inside. Full of energy today, the girls bounce around inside the clubhouse with a continual wave of giggles. It isn`t long before they begin to play wrestle one another.
Scootaloo gets AppleBloom in a headlock and roughly rubs her knuckles on the top of her head while Sweetie Belle tickles her. Over-ridden with laughter, AppleBloom cries out,"No fair! Two against one!"
Scootaloo laughs triumphantly,"And that`s just the way we like!"
"Ohhhh-! You guyyyyys-!"
AppleBloom wriggles around as best as she can to try to get herself free from her assailants. Scootaloo isn`t about to let her go so easily though. She fights to keep her grip on AppleBloom. AppleBloom won`t give up, she tries even harder to free herself from Scootaloo`s grasp.
The girls are interrupted when he hear a strange noise. The fillies freeze when they hear it with their little ears. Sweetie Belle looks to AppleBloom and Scootaloo and cautiously asks,"What was that?"
AppleBloom falls back on her rear as Scootlaloo loosens her grip. Scootaloo answers Sweetie Belle with her eyes locked on their clubhouse window,"I don`t know…We better check it out."
Scootaloo approaches the window and Sweetie Belle follows behind her. AppleBloom picks herself off the floor and joins her friends at the window to investigate the sound. Things are quiet for a bit as they look around at the trees surrounding their clubhouse. AppleBloom squints her eyes,"Does anyone see anything?"
Sweetie Belle answers,"Nuh-uh."
Scootaloo sounds disappointed as she speaks up,"No…not a thing."
Then they hear a rumbling sound. It`s volume is louder than the last sound. Sweetie Belle turns to her two friends,"Does it sound like that whatever it is, is getting closer?"
As if to answer her, a dragon bursts through the apple trees and lets out a roar. Instantly, the three fillies scream in horror. They quickly scramble to get out of their clubhouse.
Stumbling and tripping over one another, they race down the ramp of their clubhouse. The dragon begins to follow after them on foot. The fillies scream again as they race back to the farm.
Macintosh hears the girls scream and he lifts his head towards the trees where he last saw them run off. All three fillies come out from the trees with terrified expressions. The dragon comes out from the trees right behind them. Macintosh`s mouth drops open upon seeing the dragon.
Among the houses and shops of PonyVille, the ponies are still going about their activities. TenderSweet is stepping down the path to her front door. In her head, she plans on what the rest of the day`s plans will be. Perhaps first a relaxing bath and then watch a movie in her bed. She smiles at the thought of a bath.
But before she can reach her front door, she hears screams coming from the direction of Applejack`s farm. TenderSweet turns around quickly and all of the other ponies` attention are captured by the screams as well.
Scootaloo, AppleBloom, Sweetie Belle and Macintosh (carrying Granny Smith on his back) are running as fast as they can from the farm. The dragon comes quickly into view, still chasing the group of ponies. It roars out and tries to grab Sweetie Belle. Sweetie Belle manages to jump out of the way of the dragon`s claws.
The ponies in PonyVille hit panic mode. Everyone runs and screams frantically. It`s quite rare for a dragon to boldly come to the town.
However, TenderSweet isn`t running away scared. Though she is frightened of the dragon, she wants to help the ponies that are in immediate danger of the dragon. She calls out the fleeing group and motions for them to come to her house. Perhaps if everyone was inside, they would be safe.
Macintosh and the girls decide to follow TenderSweet`s direction. What else can they do? They make a mad dash for the home and pray they can make it safely. TenderSweet throws open her front door to allow quick entry for them.
The dragon leans forward and is about to take a bite out of the fleeing ponies.
To be continued...