The Lonely Shade of White
My foalhood wasn’t so average… but it was my life and I will always remember it. Every morning, mommy would wake me up and ask how my day would be. She had a habit of wearing a bandanna to match the mood of the day; passionate red, slothful blue, worrisome amber, but when the day was going to be a good one she would wear my favorite color, a special pink. Daddy would already be awake and ready for work. He was an important negotiator who did business between the ponies of Equestria, and the dragons of Dragon Mountain. Every morning before sunrise, he would give me a hug before work. He always said it gives him courage when he spoke to the scary dragons. But I knew he was just kidding. Daddy was the bravest pony I knew, nothing could scare him, that’s why we lived in the forest at the base of Dragon Mountain.
My mommy was a good cook but no matter how hard I tried, I could never be as good as her. She always said, that she became that way when she met her special somepony. She says that when you find that somepony, that’s when you know what your destiny is. I never understood what she meant… but it didn’t matter to me. I wanted nothing more than to be the kind of mare she was, that’s why I did the same thing she did every day. I wore the bandanna that matched the day, and I even tried to cook like her too… well I tried anyway. Every day was like a dream… everyday was special… even the rainy days were wonderful… but I found out the hard way, that no matter how wonderful the dream may be… eventually, we must wake up.
I don’t remember the whole day… but I spend countless hours trying to forget that night. I was about six when it happened, the light… I didn’t understand it. When it shined through my window, I sat up and looked at it in curiosity; it was about midnight when I first saw it, a bright flickering light from outside Then… mommy rushed into the room yelling, “Gem! Sweetie we have to get out of here!”
“M-mommy? What’s wrong? What is tha…”
Before I could finish my question, the window shattered as fire started pouring into my room from the outside. Seeing this scared the life out of me… I didn’t know what to do next… it felt like an eternity before mommy grabbed me by my hoof and dragged me from my bed as the flames poured over my covers and started burning the rest of my room. As mommy tried to drag me outside, I grabbed a pink bandanna that was lying on the dresser as we rushed through the burning house to the front door.
Just as both me and mommy made it outside, Daddy flew down from above, “Sofia, Gem… thank Celestia you’re alright, quickly we ha…”
Daddy stopped talking as a ferocious roar echoed through the darkness in the sky, I had to ask, “D-daddy?... what’s that?...”
Daddy didn’t answer, instead he looked at mommy and spoke, “Get to the edge of the forest, I'll try to lure him away from you.”
Mommy replied, “Why are they doing this? The dragon elder said that we are friends. This isn’t like them to…”
“Sofia, this isn’t the elders doing, it’s only one dragon. But we are still no match for him. Just get Gem to the clearing away from the mountain.”
Mommy stopped, as the burning cabin I called home collapsed behind us, then daddy replied as he looked into the sky above, “JUST DO IT HURRY!!!”
Daddy put his hoof in my mane and kissed my forehead, “Stay safe my little Gem Stone.”
Then Daddy flew into the sky and vanished, while me and mommy continued through the forest as fast as our hooves could take us. As we ran, I saw a large creature flying towards us from our front, “Mommy! What’s that?!”
Mommy looked then gasped as she threw herself over me, “GEM LOOK OUT!!!”
As the creature got close, a string of fire came from its mouth and covered the entire path as it ran itself on front, over, and then behind us-burning mommy as she protected me. As soon as the creature passed, and flew off I looked at mommy in fear, “M-mommy, you’re hurt! We need to get you to…”
“I'm fine sweetie, it’s just a slight burn. I'll be ok.”
“But it loo…”
Mommy put her hoof under my chin and smiled, “Sweetie… I'm fine. Right now we need to hurry to the edge of the forest… daddy will be waiting for us there.”
I knew that mommy was just trying to make me feel better so I played along, “Ok, let’s go then.”
Mommy struggled to stand up as we both began galloping through the forest as fast as we could, then I could hear the dragon roaring behind us, as mommy called to me, “GEM KEEP RUNNING DON’T STOP FOR ANYTHING!!! DON’T LET THE DRAGON CATCH YOU!!! IF YOU MAKE IT THERE FIRST THEN WAIT FOR US THERE!!!”
I didn’t know what she meant… but that didn’t stop me. The burning trees around me… the roar of the terrifying dragon behind me, and the fear I felt were all the motivation I needed to sprint as fast as I could to get out of the forest. Faster and faster I went, but no matter what I thought. Nothing could stop me. I never went this fast before, I felt like I was flying, only my wings weren’t open.
Finely I made it to the edge of the forest and stopped in the meadow, “mommy, we did it we…”
but when I turned around… mommy wasn’t there… I looked into the forest behind me thinking that her burns slowed her down a bit and she was right behind me… but there was nopony following me, “Mommy? MOMMY!!!!”
There was no reply… I climbed onto a nearby rock and tried again, “MOMMY!!!! DADDY!!! HELLO!!!”
There was still no reply, the only sounds I could hear were the sound of the distant fire as it continued burning the forest. Remembering what mommy told me, I sat down against the boulder and patiently waited. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. From time to time, I would climb back onto the boulder and call out for both mommy and daddy, but every time I did, I was only answered with silence.
Hours later while I was still waiting, a pegasus wearing armor flew down and landed next to me, “filly? Are you ok? are you alone?”
Mommy told me that ponies who wear armor work for the princesses so I knew I could talk to him so I shook my head, “N-no sir, I'm here waiting on my mommy and daddy.”
“Mommy and daddy? Where are they?”
I pointed into the forest that was still smoldering from the fire a few hours ago as the stallion continued, “Were they in the fire?”
I didn’t answer, I just nodded my head yes, as he replied, “I see.”
the stallion turned back and looked behind him, “Princess! There is one over here!”
When I turned to look, I saw a royal carriage sitting in the meadow behind me with a tall blue mare and a unicorn standing in it. The mare looked at the unicorn and spoke, “Commander, Send out a search party at once and try to find this fillies parents.”
The unicorn nodded his head as he jumped from the cart, “Yes your majesty. Soldiers on me we must find this fillies parents!”
The unicorn smiled as he trotted past me and spoke, “Now, now little flower, we will find your mommy and daddy, don’t you worry about a thing.”
As the unicorn lead a number of ponies into the forest to search for mommy and daddy, one of them called to the princess, “Princess Luna! Dawn is approaching you must return to the castle.”
The princess nodded her head as she replied, “Very well… see to it that this filly is taken care of!”
As the guard nodded his head, the pegasi pulling the cart took off, and flew away as the cart vanished into the night.
Now I wasn’t just waiting for mommy and daddy anymore, I was waiting on the unicorn and his soldiers too. But it wasn’t long before the group of soldier returned with an unhappy looks on their faces. I quickly rushed up to the unicorn and asked, “Are they with you? did you find them? Where are they?”
The unicorn striped as his soldiers continued trotting past me. I could see sadness on his face but still I asked, “Where are they? You… you did find them… right? Wh-where are they?...”
the stallion sighed as he asked, “What’s your name little filly?”
“M-my name is Gem Stone…. Where are my mommy and daddy?
He looked into my eyes and replied, “Gem… little Gem Stone… I'm afraid, your mommy and daddy didn’t make it out of the forest in time.”
My eyes filled with tears as I prayed he was kidding, “No… they were right behind me… I know it, they said they would meet me here… they did. daddy wouldn’t lie to me like that. And mommy was just behind me… I know they will be here. We just have to wait for them. You’ll see..”
The unicorn continued, “I know this is hard for you to understand… but they won’t be able to keep this promise…”
“No,… they’ll be here. I know they will. Daddy has to go to work in a few hours so he’ll be here to give me a hug before work like he does every day… he can’t go to work without my hug… he says it’s what gives him the courage to speak with the dragons like he is supposed to.”
the unicorn started tearing up as he continued, “Gem… we found them… in the forest. they… they didn’t make it. I'm sorry little flower. But they are gone. Your daddy won’t be going to work tomorrow.”
With tears starting to roll down my face, I stepped back from the unicorn, “No… no! NO! YOU’RE LYING!!! IT’S NOT NICE TO LIE LIKE THAT!!! STOP IT!!!”
Before he continued, I started sprinting towards the forest as one of the other guards grabbed me, ”LET ME GO!!! LET ME GO!!! I HAVE TO GO FIND THEM!!! I HAVE TO FIND MOMMY AND DADDY!!! DADDY NEEDS HIS HUGE BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP!!! HE NEEDS IT BEFORE HE CAN START WORK!!! LET ME GO!!! LET ME GO!!! MOMMY!!! DADDY!!! NO! NO!!!”
I kicked and screamed all I could… but I couldn’t get free of the pony who was holding me back. I didn’t want to believe it… I couldn’t believe it… I wanted more than anything to find myself lying in my bed realizing that this was all just a horrible nightmare. But it wasn’t… as I tried fighting myself from the ponies hooves, the sun began to rise… and the day began… without my hug from daddy.
Later that day, I found myself in an orphanage at the edge of Cloudsdale. When I arrived, the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Myer greeted me with nothing but smiles… but I saw no reason to smile back. In my mane I wore the very same bandanna that I grabbed as me and mommy ran from the house… and to me, that was the only thing I had left… but that wasn’t reason enough to feel any kind of happiness, so I couldn’t smile back… not even a fake one. Mrs. Myer seemed to be nice enough, she showed me around the old building that I was now supposed to call home. then the moment she left me with the other orphans, things started to get even worse. As I stood in that noisy room filled with all the other orphans, I decided to just stay out or their way by trotting to the closest corner of the room and siting down by myself.
It wasn’t long before the other foals gathered around me and started criticizing me, “She must be the new filly.”
“I heard her parents were killed by dragons…”
“What’s wrong with her … why is she hiding in the corner like this?
“What’s with the bandanna? Is she having a bad mane day or something?”
Then a very large colt came closer. “Listen here because I'm going to say this only once… around here I'm the big shot, that’s why they call me heavy weight… so you better watch your step, because if it’s in my way... then we got problems… got it, Messy Mane?”
The other foals started to laugh as I replied, “M-messy mane? but my mane isn…”
“Then why are you wearing that bandanna in your mane huh… it looks like it’s scorched anyway so what’s the point? If I were you I’d just trash it… it’s nothing but a useless piece of cloth anyway.”
Without giving me a chance to explain, the bully turned around and trotted off.
I knew that this was just the start of my new, terrible life. None of the foal would ever understand me… so I decided that I wouldn’t try to convince them at all. They went about their days doing what they do, while I'll just stay out of it. The bully continued to pick on me daily, calling me names like messy mane, fake Gem, bandanna head, even rock. Because of this, I tried to avoid him all I could, then one day he went too far. While pointlessly kicking a ball around in the backyard, the bully thought it would be funny to sneak up behind me and yank my bandanna off my head. After that, he turned around and started running away from me in a playful manner, but I wasn’t playing around.
I immediately turned around and started chasing him, but the bully continued, then he opened his wings and flew into the air just outside the gate chanting , “Come and get me Messy mane… unless you think you actually have the nerve.”
I didn’t care… what he or another pony thought, I wanted it back, I wanted the only thing I had left of my parents, my home, my life… I just wanted it all back. Without thinking, or even considering my options, an uncontrollable rage filled my body. This rage controlled me as I jumped into the air, flew towards the bully at collision speed, and punched him in his face with every bit of strength I had. the pegasus rocked in the air for a few seconds then he smiled, “Well it looks like miss messy mane has some guts after all.”
It irritated me even more to know that even my most rage filled punch did absolutely nothing to the mean bully but that didn’t stop me from replying through the tears rolling down my face, “pick on me all you want… call me weak… call me messy mane all you want… I… I don’t care… I just want my bandanna back… it’s … all I have left… just give it back… Give it back! GIVE IT BACK NOW!!!”
I trembled with rage as the bully laughed, then he replied as he showed me empty hooves, “Give what back?”
I yelled, “WHERE IS IT!!! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT!!!!”
He shrugged his shoulders, “I don’t know I must have dropped it or something.”
“Take a wild guess.”
I froze, the only thing I could think was, he must have dropped it when I punched him… but the only place it could be was the Everfree Forest that sat below us. I looked down as franticly as I could… but I couldn’t see it anywhere. So I prepared myself to dive into the forest, but as I did Mr. and Mrs. Myer grabbed us both and dragged us back to the yard as Mrs. Myer spoke, “You two know better than to go outside the fence without permission!”
I struggled to get free but it was no use, “No I have to get my bandanna! I need it! please let me go! I have to find it! PLEASE!!!”
When we were both back inside, we were scolded then punished by doing chores for the rest of the day. Every time I went by one of the windows in the orphanage, I looked into the Everfree forest below. I didn’t know where… but my bandanna was down there somewhere. But it didn’t matter. Without it, I felt completely naked, not just because it was a part of my parents… but it was a part of me too. And when somepony like me, who has lost everything and can’t trust a single soul in this place… loses a part of herself, then she will lose all hope. I know because that’s what I did. This place… these ponies none of them will ever understand me… none of them will ever know my pain. In fact, I would rather let them feel it first hoof then to continue living in this world… but I don’t want to become something I'm not. So I'll just continue my life here and exclude every pony who tries to get involved… even those who want to adopt me. I don’t need them either.
That night I lay in bed trying to sleep, but it was no use, without my bandanna, I felt like there was nothing left for me, but then a bright flash came through the window. As I got out of bed and looked out, I could see a bright yellow glowing ball sitting in the Everfree Forest. I couldn’t help but marvel at it… it was beautiful… but at the same time scary. As I watched it, I could see a large number of lightning bolts shooting from it, as it incinerated everything it touched. But then as fast as it had appeared, it slowly faded, leaving a small clearing in the trees below. As I continued watching, and wondering if it would do it again, I noticed a carriage fly by and land in the forest near the place where the glowing ball was.. As I continued watching Mrs. Myer came into the room, “Gem... it’s the middle of the night, get back in bed and go to sleep.”
Wanting to know what happens next I argued, “But that mare… that light… I wan…”
“Gem… it’s time for bed!”
“Gem get in bed now! Or you will have chores waiting for you in the morning too.”
Feeling disappointed, I went to my bed and laid down As Mrs. Myer left the room. Now this is just an addition to the list of things that makes this place terrible. I'm picked on every day, nopony not even the caretakers understand me, and to top it all off, I still don’t have my bandanna to make me feel better. I took my pillowcase, and tore it until it was just a small piece of cloth then I tied it in my mane to resemble the missing bandanna. When I looked into the mirror at the white colored bandanna in my mane, I could only think to myself, “This is my new color… this is the mood I will feel so long as I'm in this place. This is my lonely shade of White.”