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In A Dark Park (WIP)

thshdw Oct 21st, 2019 183 Never
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  1. [Original Writefag]
  2. >>34437802
  3. >Lyra is out in the park late at night when nobody is awake
  4. >She sits on the bench just watching the stars. All is silent except the wind and the crickets.
  5. >Suddenly in the distance, she can hear something
  6. >A song, coming closer and closer
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9v9OtinHt68 [Embed]
  8. >That creature that she's heard of so much in the past few weeks is walking alone through the park. His black clothes and hat make it hard to see him in the darkness, but the bulky headphones he wears have silver on the frames which shine slightly from what little light reflects off them.
  9. >Anonymous - that's his name, she remembers.
  10. >She also remembers what Twilight had been saying a few days ago; that his species must be some kind of nocturnal one, since he sleeps all day long and only gets up at night.
  11. >His path crosses hers, and she isn't too sure what to do.
  12. >Does he speak her language? Twilight said he came from another land.
  13. >The music is loud now. The fact that he's wearing headphones with music blaring that loud makes her wonder if he also can't hear very well.
  14. >Not being one to shy away from people, Lyra decides to be friendly and greet him when he reaches her.
  15. >It doesn't take long for him to get there.
  16. >A S T H E H O U R S P A S S I W I L L L E T Y O U K N O W
  17. >Guess he can speak our language, she thinks.
  18. >Pretty nice song too. Sounds like something Vinyl would play on a slow day.
  19. >He's close enough for her to get a really good look at him too, for the first time.
  20. >He looks... not that out of this world, really. Looks kind of like a monkey. Only bald.
  21. >No scratch that, there's some small strands of black hair sticking out from under his cap.
  22. >He stops a few feet in front of her, regarding her with tired skepticism.
  23. >Unsure of how to go about this, since he's still blasting music and probably won't hear her say anything, she gives him an awkward smile and wave.
  24. >Raising a brow, he nods at her.
  25. >Without missing a beat, he starts his walk again. Briskly, he walks past her without saying so much as a word.
  26. >Her eyes are glued to his back as he vanishes into the distant darkness, the song fading away with him.
  27. >She keeps looking into the dark for a moment, ruminating on what she saw.
  28. >His eyes.
  29. >Dark bags under them. (How was he tired? He sleeps all day, doesn't he? He's nocturnal?)
  30. >His mouth.
  31. >A morose frown. (Lonely? Did he actually know anyone outside of Twilight?)
  32. >His walk.
  33. >Heavy. His shoulders were slouched, and his back was too. She got the feeling that wasn't how whatever kind of creature he was usually walked. It seemed wrong in a way.
  34. >His entire demeanor just struck her as...
  35. >Sad.
  36. >Deeply, profoundly sad. Like some of those ponies she used to see in Manehatten who thought they could take on the city and make it big. Only his sadness was worse in a way.
  37. >Those ponies in Manehatten usually rebounded after a few days. Sadness just wasn't really a pony thing. It wasn't in their nature to be extremely sad. It was part of why Equestria was so peaceful.
  38. >But with him...
  39. >He looked like he had been sad for a very long time. Her lip quivered a little when she thought of the hopeless, distant look in his eyes. Glassy too. Like there was just a dam in front of them holding back an ocean.
  40. >And then she wondered - had anypony else noticed this? Why hadn't Twilight done anything to help? Or maybe she already was trying?
  41. >Or...
  42. >Wait.
  43. >Twilight said she thought his species was nocturnal, but... he looked exhausted. That can't be right. If he was nocturnal, he shouldn't have bags like that under his eyes. Even if he were sad.
  44. >Could she... could she have also figured that his appearance was just the way his kind looked normally?
  45. >Dear Celestia. If he's not nocturnal...
  46. >Is he so sad that he can't even bear staying awake?
  47. >How did he even get that way?
  48. >She felt an extreme urge to go help him. Somehow, someway. Like any other pony would help somepony in need.
  49. >What could she do though?
  50. -
  51. the better question is 'what can i myself do, because i have no idea where to take this.'
  52. wasn't really looking to write anything at all actually, but i was pissed off and wanted to blow some steam. that being said, sorry about the quality. didn't proof-read.
  53.  
  54.  
  55.  
  56. [My Continuation Begins Here]
  57. >Amber and burning leaves crunched underhoof as Lyra returned to her bench in the park.
  58. >Luna's moon hung high above, its pale light revealing the rustling silhouettes of the trees surrounding the clearing.
  59. >Lyra soaked herself in the ambiance of early Autumn, the chorus of crickets growing louder in her wake.
  60. >On the bench next to her sat two steaming, sealed cups of hot chocolate, perfect for resisting the chilly breeze sweeping the browning ground around her.
  61. >She brought her cup to her snout and sipped, warmth rushing down and throughout her body. She set it aside and waited.
  62. >Waited for Anonymous to cross her path again.
  63.  
  64. >...
  65.  
  66. >Her hot chocolate has long since been finished. Anonymous' cup, likewise, was cold to the touch.
  67. >She sighed, ears flattening as she rose from the bench. (Maybe he doesn't walk every night?)
  68. >She balanced the cold chocolate on her back, and put the empty cup in her bags. (Or he's taken a different route. He might be avoiding me.)
  69. https://youtu.be/la5UHh6Zopc (goreshit - the nature of dying)
  70. >Her ears swiveled upright, scanning the darkness surrounding her. Arrhythmic snares could barely be heard over the leaves she stepped on.
  71. >As the sound approached, a violin strove to overcome the manic percussion. She soon located the music's origin.
  72. >There, walking down the path before her, was Anonymous. Same black hoodie and hat, same faded silver headphones, and, as he came closer, same face.
  73. >Carved despair, weathered by life and pulled down by time, his eyes were swollen and red. (Had he been crying? Why?)
  74. >A sudden inhalation brings Lyra back to conscious thought. Her breathing had hitched on Anonymous' arrival, her lungs frozen when he somehow looked worse.
  75. >A tentative hoof raised, Lyra exhaled. Inhaled, exhaled. (I've been out here too long to get cold hooves now!)
  76.  
  77.  
  78. >Trotting forward, Lyra relaxed her tense features. Anonymous stopped walking when the mint pony came forward and blocked his path.
  79. >The two exchanged glances, neither sure of where this was going. Anonymous cocked an eyebrow, taking a wide step to go around Lyra.
  80. >Lyra stepped in front of him again, maintaining eye contact. She forced a smile and spoke, "I brought you hot chocolate."
  81. >She turned her head around and took the full cup in her hoof, bringing it around to offer up to him, "It, uh, isn't warm now, though. It got cold..." (Waiting for you. Oh, that sounds mean!)
  82. >Anonymous' hand moves in his hoodie's pocket. The music stops. He takes off his headphones.
  83. >He looks down at the offered cup, opens his mouth, then closes it again.
  84. >Lyra extended her fore-leg and wore a genuine smile, "It's for you." (Oh, good, he couldn't hear me. Now we'll start off on the right hoof.)
  85. >Anonymous opened his mouth again, his voice closer to the creaking of old wood and scattered gravel than anything else, "Thanks."
  86. >He raises the cup to his lips and knocks it back.
  87. >Lyra watches his face, hopeful. His eyelids flutter when the cold drink hits his throat, but he doesn't complain. He finishes it in a matter of seconds. (I need to bring an Anonymous-sized up next time.)
  88. >What is that in his eyes as he drinks? As he looks down at Lyra when he finishes? Lyra takes half a step back. He looks at her like she hurt him.
  89. >Anonymous hoofs the cup back to Lyra. He nods to her and takes another step around.
  90. >Lyra lets him pass.
  91. >His arm jostles again, and ambiant pads join repeated piano phrases, slowly overtaking the notes with an ethereal softness.
  92. >It reminded Lyra of the light of a streetlamp on a winter's night, fat flakes of snow creating a yellow glow around the lamp, of an inexplicable sense of nostalgia and weariness.
  93. >Tomorrow night, she thought, she will finally make conversation with him. (He has to want to talk to someone. He needs to.)
  94.  
  95.  
  96. >Lyra Heartstrings stood outside the Golden Oak Library, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
  97. >Ill her sleep was last night, tossing and turning until dawn, Anonymous' hurting face burned into the inside of her eyelids.
  98. >Her thoughts couldn't escape him. And, as he would be asleep at this time of day, Lyra decided to investigate what Twilight had 'learned' about Anonymous.
  99. >"Twilight?" Lyra called out after entering the library, "I want to talk about Anonymous."
  100. >The purple unicorn was buried up to her neck in stacks of old tomes, gold embossing tattered spines spelling out long and complex names of treatise and study alike.
  101. >She gently rested the book before her face and smiled, "Oh, Lyra! It's good to see you. What did you want to talk about?"
  102. >Trotting around the stacks, Lyra stood beside Twilight at her desk, "It's about Anonymous."
  103. >"Oh, has he done something wrong!?"
  104. >Lyra blinks, then shakes her head, "No... why do you think it would be that?"
  105. >"Well, not to be rude or presumptuous, but we just don't know much about him, or humans at all. He is a predator... not that there's something wrong with that! Just. I haven't made much progress, so I thought he might have problems with ponies!"
  106. >Twi wears a nervous smile, a bead of sweat trailing down her forehead. Lyra cocked an eyebrow. (I wonder if Anonymous knows how scared of him Twilight is?)
  107. >Lyra speaks slowly, "I see... well, I think there is something wrong with him. Are you sure he's nocturnal?"
  108. >Twi blows a puff of air, flicking her bangs up, "Oh, that's what you wanted to talk about! Yes, Anonymous is definitely a nocturnal predator. He's very tired when I wake him up to interview him during the day, and he even said he was always prowling the night back on Irf!"
  109. >"Prowling the night?" Lyra's eyes half-close, unamused.
  110. >"Well, he calls it a night walk, but he told me he eats during them, too. I'm sure that's when he hunts, and his calling it a 'night walk' is him trying not to scare me."
  111.  
  112.  
  113. >"What did he eat?"
  114. >Twi frowned, ears folding back, "Er, well... meat."
  115. >Lyra winced. Twi quickly followed up, "But he said that the meat back home came from animals that didn't talk, or anything like that, so it's not as bad as you think!"
  116. >Twi scuffs the rug with her fore-hoof, "Not that it... isn't bad."
  117. >Lyra shook her head. Twilight's explanations made sense, but... "Don't you think Anonymous looks... sad?"
  118. >"Anypony would be sad if they got lost and couldn't find their way back home, Lyra. I'm studying my hardest to find a way to send him back. I've even asked Princess Celestia for help, and she assured me she would look through the Canterlot Library Archives for anything useful."
  119. >Lyra frowned, "Anonymous looks like he's been sad for a while, Twi. Even before coming to Ponyville, I think he'd been sad for a long, long time."
  120. >Twilight frowns, "I don't think it's as bad as you think it is. Anonymous crossed dimensions and now he's somewhere completely different from his home! He told me about all sorts of things he misses. Things like 'com-pyoo-tors' and 'the inter-net' and 'Vee-dee-oh games'."
  121. >"If it wasn't for Fluttershy bringing him fish, he wouldn't be eating meat at all! That sort of drastic diet change must affect him a lot. I'm sure he's missing his friends from back home, too."
  122. >Lyra's frown deepens as Twilight talks. "Friends?"
  123. >Twilight's head droops, "Well, he talked about friends he had on the 'inter-net', but he wouldn't talk about anypony else."
  124. >(Maybe he doesn't have anypony else.) Lyra held her tongue. "What else do you talk with him about?"
  125. >The purple horse perks up, "Oh, all sorts of things! Irf's history, technology, geography, all kinds of things! Did you know they don't have ANY magic? They don't control the weather at all! They invented farming eight thousand years ago, and it was in a small place called the Fertile Crescent..."
  126.  
  127.  
  128. >Lyra retreated, physically and mentally, from Twilight's ranting. Twilight gave good reasons, and Lyra was sure Twi wouldn't lie, but from the way she was talking, she hadn't talked to Anonymous as a person, but as a living book.
  129. >Her reasons for why Anonymous was how he was were good, and probably enough for other ponies, but Lyra's gut screamed in opposition. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Twilight had to be wrong.
  130. >Lyra saw pain in there. Real pain. Deep pain. Anonymous was lonely, and even worse, he was alone. It was going to be up to her to do something about it.
  131. >Lyra left the library. She had a performance soon, but after, she would nap. And then she would spend the night with Anonymous.
  132. >Lyra picked up her pace, running to Bonbon's candy shop. Tonight was the night, and she needed to be prepared.
  133. >"Bonnie!"
  134. >"Lyra, what have I told you about shouting? And stop running around my shop! You're making a mess."
  135. >"Bonnie, I need a really, really big cup with a lid. Do we have one?"
  136. >"What for?"
  137. >"I need it for my friend's hot chocolate."
  138.  
  139.  
  140. https://youtu.be/Ff7IgrcJums (Underworld - Born Slippy (Nuxx/Remastered))
  141. >Lyra pulls herself out of bed as the alarm sounds, ending her nap. Bonking the alarm off, she shook herself and stretched. She hopped off the bed. Night couldn't have fallen more than an hour ago. (Good, plenty of time left.)
  142. >Lyra had a lot to do to prepare for the night with Anonymous ahead. If she was going to be outside for the whole night, she needed to dress warm. Trotting to her closet, she dug through the mess to find her favorite scarf, a sunny yellow.
  143. >It rested atop an old box of sheet music, dusty from disuse. Curiosity took the reigns and she pulled it out, flipping through the memories. (Anonymous likes music. Maybe he plays an instrument?)
  144. >Many in her collection weren't composed for lyres, and were thus full of loose-leaf transcriptions she had made by hoof.
  145. >(Clopin, Baaach, Shoebert... oh! I haven't played this one in forever. A bit of practice wouldn't hurt, right?)
  146. >(Yeah, I should practice! I don't want to mess up when playing for Anonymous.)
  147. >Lyra pulled the yellowing paperback free from the box and set it up on her bedside stand. Quietly, she practiced.
  148.  
  149. *
  150.  
  151. >Lyra cinched her saddlebags tight, harp in one, leftover sweets in the other. On her back she carried her cup of hot chocolate and Anonymous' blender full of hot chocolate.
  152. >She left for the park, scarf trailing behind her in the midnight breeze.
  153. >Clouds scratched out Luna's moon, creeping across the starry sky. Little moths flocked to the lamps of Ponyville.
  154. >The clip-clop of Lyra's hooves on cobblestone streets turned into krinch-kronch on the leaf-littered dirt road leading to the park. The music of the night was in full swing. Owls hooted, bats chirpped, and the crickets held concert at the berms of her path.
  155. >She swiveled her ears around, sinking into the atmosphere.
  156.  
  157. *
  158.  
  159. >She was a quick trot from her bench when she heard arpeggiating synths bouncing with crisp hi-hats. (He's already here!?)
  160.  
  161.  
  162. >Indeed he was. Rounding the corner of the path, past old elms and beech trees, was Anonymous, arms hanging off the back of the bench, legs fully extended, heels resting behind two modest piles of leaves. (How long as he been sitting there? Why?)
  163. >Lyra stops. Anonymous has something glowing in his mouth. It smells bad, choking. Smoke trails skyward, the occasional beam of moonlight catching it through the crowds. Lyra begins coughing. (EUGH! What is that??)
  164. >Anonymous tilts his head sideways at the noise, blinking slowly. Lyra, teary-eyed, approaches the bench. Anonymous exhales a white cloud that carries off in the breeze, sweeping right past Lyra. She coughs again.
  165. >"... Sorry, bad habit." He takes the cigarette out, opens his mouth, and snubs the red glow against a cupped tongue. He refocuses his eyes on Lyra.
  166. >"Wh- AH! Anonymous! Doesn't that hurt!?"
  167. >His frown deepens, eyes downcast, nostrils flexing as he sniffs. It sounds phlegmy. (... Why does he look even sadder now? Did I say something wrong?)
  168. >His hands reach into his hoodie's pocket, one fumbling around for something, the other turning off his music.
  169. >He pulls out a small green box, about the size of a deck of cards, and puts the cigarette back inside. It rattles with the movement, almost empty.
  170. >"Nah." He stuffs the pack back into his hoodie and looks back up at the sky. "Sorry, again."
  171. >Lyra takes deep breaths of clean air before walking to Anonymous' side of the bench, bringing herself parallel to the arm rest, "I brought you a bigger cup this time!"
  172. >Anonymous takes the blender by the handle and tries his damnedest to smile. He couldn't. "Thanks."
  173. >Lyra moves back around, setting her cup and bags on the bench on the far side from Anonymous and picks up her cup. Anonymous takes off his headphones, hanging them around his neck, and warms his hands against the hot plastic, bending over to inhale the steam.
  174. >"What was that thing in your mouth? Why did it smell so bad?"
  175.  
  176.  
  177. >"Cigarettes. Smells bad because it's bad."
  178. >"What were you doing? How did you get smoke in your mouth? That's really dangerous! You should go to the hospital and ask for a doctor!"
  179. >Anonymous looked down at Lyra's too-worried face. She was just a like a kid to him. All of these ponies were. He sighs, "I got enough of that shi- crap back home. I don't want to talk about it."
  180. >She continues to stare at him with worried, hard eyes. Then, her shoulders dip, and she takes a sad sip of her drink. (Why doesn't he care that it's bad? ... This isn't going well.)
  181. >The pair sit in silence, drinking together. A large cloud moves overhead, casting both in deep shadow. (Okay, Lyra, you can save this. Just talk about music! You both like music.)
  182. >"So, Anonymous, you like music?"
  183. >Anonymous sets the blender down in his lap, scraggly neck bulging with gulps of hot chocolate. Paahhh. "I guess."
  184. >"Y-You guess?" Lyra shifts, trying to find a position to offset Anonymous' uncomfortable terseness. She can't.
  185. >"Yeah." Another gulp. Silence. "Why?"
  186. >"Well, I always see you listening to music, so I thought that we could talk about it. Together!" (Keep it together, Lyra. Sweet Celestia, why is this so awkward?!)
  187. >"Not much to talk about."
  188. >"W-What do you mean? There's a lot to talk about! Like, your favorite bands...?"
  189. >"I'm not from here."
  190. >"Well, yeah, but... Uhm, what about musical genre?"
  191. >"Whatever, really."
  192. >"... Do you play an instrument?"
  193. >"Nope."
  194. >Despite the chill, Lyra was sweating. (Give me an in, Anonymous! Something to work with!)
  195. >The two sat in silence again. It dragged on for a long time, Anonymous watching the large cloud overhead finish making its pass.
  196. >Lyra blurted out, "I do!"
  197. >"Do what?"
  198. >"I play an instrument. The lyre. Lyra Heartstrings, get it?"
  199. >"Figures."
  200. >Lyra was determined not to let the conversation lapse into silence. She blurts again, "Do you want me to play for you?"
  201. >"Whatever you want."
  202.  
  203.  
  204. >Lyra's eyes take on a hard edge. She undoes the flap of her saddlebag and pulls her lyre out, swiveling into position to play facing Anonymous. Her horn glows yellow, floating the lyre before her. With a deep breath, she begins.
  205. https://youtu.be/tdlpJknE4NU (Lavinia Meijer - Clair de Lune)
  206. >The music is slow, soothing, and envelopes the pair like a blanket. The clear tones grow in depth and complexity, strings running past each other, vibrating harmonic chords, remedying the cold night.
  207. >Anonymous closes his eyes and sinks in his seat, concentrating on listening. Lyra softens the notes, gentle plucks a secret between the two of them. Quietly, very quietly, she runs her hoof up, lulling out golden tones, finishing with a final magical flourish.
  208. >Silence returns to the park. Lyra shakes, winded. (I feel like a foal again, taking stage for the first time.)
  209. >The crickets and owl return. Anonymous has still not said a word. He hasn't straightened himself or opened his eyes, seemingly content in his awkward position.
  210. >"What did you think?" (I shouldn't be this nervous.)
  211. >"S'good."
  212. >"It's... good?"
  213. >"Mmmhm."
  214. >(That's it? Just 'good'?)
  215. >"I was digging through my closet, and found the sheet music for that. I thought you might like listening to something like that."
  216. >"Like that?"
  217. >"Happier music."
  218. >"... meh."
  219. >"You don't like happy music??"
  220. >"Not really." He opens his eyes, finally, "but that was good."
  221. >"I don't understand you, Anonymous!"
  222. >"Huh?"
  223. >Lyra is standing in front of him. He shifts upright, pulling his legs in. Lyra takes it as an invitation to step closer. She furrows her eyebrows, "I don't understand you. You look so sad and alone, but you don't try and make friends with anypony!"
  224. >Anonymous only stares down at Lyra. She snorts and continues, "I went to talk with Twilight Sparkle, because I was worried about you, and I don't think she's been all that friendly with you. So I decided I wanted to show you how friendly ponies can really be!"
  225.  
  226.  
  227. >Lyra stomps her hooves, "So I slept early so I would be able to stay awake with you! I made extra hot chocolate so you would have enough to drink! I brought my lyre so I could talk about music with you, and I could play it for you, and- and be your friend!"
  228. >"I want to be your friend, Anonymous! But you make it really, really hard to get close to you! I've had to do all the talking, because you don't want to talk! I'm sorry that I brought up the see-gar-its, but I'm worried about you!"
  229. >Tears, not like those from her coughing fit, but actual tears, leaked at the corners of Lyra's eyes, "And I'm trying really hard to be your friend, and I'm really nervous and don't know what to do because nothing's working!" She chokes back a sob, "I don't understand you! How... how...?"
  230. >Anonymous looks at Lyra just like their first meeting. Like she hurt him. Her barrel heaves as she tries to control herself, to stop crying. "Do you hate us that much?"
  231. >Anonymous exhales loudly through his nose. "No."
  232. >"Then why don't you... you..."
  233. >"Do you want to listen to my music?"
  234. >Lyra blinks, fresh tears darkening her fur. She looks up from Anonymous' beaten shoes to see him patting the empty bench next to him with his fingers, palm flat against the slats.
  235. >As Lyra pulls herself up, Anonymous takes off his headphones and hands them off to Lyra. She puts them on, biting her lip, "D-Don't play it loud, okay? Ponies have sensitive ears."
  236. >He nods. He pulls out a small, flat, glowing black thing and presses against it with his thumb, "I'm not good at expressing myself, so..."
  237.  
  238.  
  239. https://youtu.be/7BgOyjbnkzQ (Good Weather for Airstrikes - Everything that Holds Me Back)
  240. >Drawn-out, pulsing strings paint the drop against guitar chords and drum lines. Wistful, plucked notes build and build into chords and distorted longing. The world melts away as Lyra is transported to a lone venue, smokey and dim, watching shadows standing in a cluster as the instruments float, playing themselves.
  241. >The music lulls, the instruments dropping out as shadows sit amongst the seats alongside her. As it builds again, she looks around to see a thronging crowd of silhouetted humans, staring at the sta
  242. >AND IT'S TIMES LIKE THESE THAT I FEEL LIKE I'M DROWNING
  243. >Her head snaps back to the stage. In the theater of her mind, Anonymous stands alone at the microphone, anger flowing through his voice, powering the lyrics.
  244. >AND I FIND MYSELF SURROUNDED BY ALL THAT I AM NOT
  245. >(He's not good at expressing himself.)
  246. >AND FOR JUST A MOMENT, I THINK I SHOULD MEND THIS BROKEN HEART.
  247. >(So that means...)
  248. >BUT I'M ALONE NOW, AND ALONE I ROT.
  249. >Lyra, back in the real world, looks up at Anonymous. He has his head turned skyward, away from her. The guitar wails, repeating a single motif ad nauseum, dwelling in the rot.
  250. >FIGHT THE WIND AND THE RAIN AND EVERYTHING THAT HOLDS ME BACK
  251. >She doesn't know what to do with her hooves. No matter where she places them, they are uncomfortable. On herself, on the bench, nothing feels right.
  252. >BUT I FEAR THAT I MAY NEVER BE THAT LUCKY AGAIN
  253. >Anonymous feels something squeeze his stomach. He looks down to find Lyra leaning over, hugging him.
  254. >He worms his fingers underneath the unicorn's hooves, prying her off him. Lyra isn't strong enough to keep her grip.
  255. >Anonymous takes his headphones back, the ending of the song dying out with a tap of his thumb. "... Peace."
  256. >He stands up, leaving behind the empty blender. "Don't leave, Anonymous! You don't have to be alone!"
  257. >He's gone.
  258. >Lyra sits alone.
  259. >"You're not..."
  260. >...
  261. >"... I'm here."
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