Moondancer's Dream

Blinking once or twice, you are not really surprised to find that you have returned to Moondancer's dream. You wait for your legs to steady themselves . . . and then with sudden dread that the ground truly is trembling. The buildings which Moondancer had so lovingly dreamshaped crumble into rubble as the path buckles beneath your feet. The earth slowly pulls back, rumbling, and a few pebbles tumble into the newly formed rift at your feet.

"It's only a dream," you remind yourself, scrambling away as the earth caves in under its own weight. In a dead run, you manage to keep just ahead of the plummeting debris. You hurtle towards the only point of safety, the shrine to the Lost Pony which stands by the strangely calm pond. If you can just reach it . . . but another chasm suddenly yawns in front of you. You gasp, then glance anxiously back. The land itself is falling into nothingness, leaving only a void of cold stars behind . . . and within minutes the ground beneath your feet will plummet into the starry expanse as well. Not a creature can be seen in the dreamscape, but in desperation you scream out the name of the dreamweaver anyway:

"MOONDANCER!"

And, miracle of miracles, she appears, pounding across the disintegrating turf and leaping wildly over the rifts bathed in a luminous glow.

"What are you doing here?" she cries as she winks to your side. "Never mind! Get on! The dreamscape is dying! Get on!"

"Why? How?" You cling tightly to the unicorn's blood red mane as she hurtles across the chasm.

"It was . . . always unstable." Moondancer shouts to be heard above the grating rocks. "Suddenly things . . . places . . . just began disappearing!" She shoots under a great pine tree as it slowly leans, pulling its roots from the earth before the mighty crash of impact sends it falling through its self-made grave.

Moondancer's neck stretches forward, glistening with sweat, as she digs her hooves into the soft earth of the hill. At the top lies the pond and the shrine, still barely trembling while the rest of the dreamscape thunders. "I tried to patch up . . . the dream," Moondancer gasps. "But it just kept . . . degrading. Then we started evacuating. I came for . . . one last look." At last the pony crests the hill. The pond is no longer mirror-smooth; ripples lap in concentric circles and the meadow grasses lean away from a roaring wind. But the statue of Water Lily, the Lost Pony, still stares serenely at the sky, unaware of the destruction in front of her stone eyes.

"This will be the last to go, but it cannot stand for long! Quickly, to the door!" Moondancer hurries over to a redstone arch standing in solemn isolation.

"By the Rainbow, may there still be time," Moondancer murmurs as she points her horn at the empty doorway and closes her eyes.

"But how--" You trail away as the starry sky framed by the archway shimmers; with a tearing sound, the doorway suddenly leads to an explosion of colors ripping across a blackness darker than the cold nothingness framing the stars of the dream. Humans were never meant to see this; instinctively you shrink back.

"Quickly! Jump through!"

"But . . ." The hill begins shuddering in earnest and the water level quietly falls until only a muddy dish of earth remains, hairlined with cracks.

"HURRY!" Moondancer nudges you impatiently.

"But . . ."

The colors swirl and dash themselves together in violent, shimmering rainbows. You glance back at the dreamscape as the one of the ears crumbles off of Water Lily's statue. A minute later the entire statue topples, fragmenting into a million splinters of granite. With a cry of anguish, Moondancer physically shoves you into the whirlpool of light.

Then, glancing at her shattering dream one last time, she steps through the doorway.

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