Friday, May 27, 2016

Gen 3 Ch 10: Matilda

Clover and Darwin were so glad that their teenage daughter finally seemed to have calmed down. Instead of playing pranks and defacing public property she now spent her afternoons riding her new unicorn.

It was a huge weight off of their shoulders.

They even had a large, luxurious stable built out back.

But tragedy struck one sunny day, when the Grim Reaper came for Matilda a second time.

This time, she did not have a flower to save her life.

Bloom was devastated. The love of his life had left him yet again, and this time she was not going to come back.

He placed the sun-cut lapis lazuli beside her grave. The gem had always represented the pursuit of his dreams for Bloom, but now that Matilda was gone, all he dreamed of was being reunited with her.

The setting sun bathed the surrounding mountains in golden light. Even Dolores shed a tear.

But she was soon cheered up by Dancer.

Bloom had to sleep alone again. Not even the presence of sweet Indi could ease his pain.

He spent most of his days locked up in his room alone, painting. Matilda's last painting, still unfinished, was a constant reminder of her absence.


Life had to go on. Pets had to be taken care of.

But Dancer was so much more than a pet. She ran like the wind, showing Dolores a side of Hidden Springs she had never seen. Dolores was still unsteady on horseback, but it was the thrill of speed and danger that she could not keep away form.

Isn't it beautiful? The green grass, the warm sun... don't you wish it could always be like this?
"Um, sure? I guess?"
Dolores wasn't quite sure where Dancer was going with these somewhat obvious hints. Sure, good weather was nice. But somehow Dancer was unable to hide the sense of urgency in her tone, which made Dolores wary, reluctant to voice a strong opinion in either direction.
Well, I know something that will get you excited!

It was absolute mayhem. Awesome.

And the best thing was: the police couldn't do a thing about it. If anyone even managed to make the connection between the girl on a "horse" and the fires, there surely wasn't any way to prove it. Telling anyone something so ludicrous would just make them look insane.

Gahahaa! And their faces! Priceless!
The unicorn nickered with glee as she rolled in the fresh grass.

"I know! It was the best!" Dolores was full of excitement, then returned to her book and mumbled with much less enthusiasm, "I don't get why we couldn't go over to that stupid old museum next. Why are you making me study this 'Advanced Mechanical Engineering' book?"

Because. For such a bratty little delinquent you show a lot of promise. I don't want you to fall behind on your schoolwork.

"Dolores! I'm so glad you're home safe! Apparently there was a huge fire at the town square today. Your mom and I had no idea where you were, and we were worried sick!"

"Oh, I was just riding Dancer up in the mountains, Dad. And then I took a small break for some studying up by the fishing pond."
Darwin was happy that his daughter had finally learned to enjoy nature as much as he and Clover did.

They had named it the Bloom Heritage Museum, but Bloom himself was still too devastated about Matilda's passing to leave the house, except for visits to the graveyard. So Clover and Darwin took it upon themselves to fill up the museum with paintings, photos and trinkets that had been passed down for generations. Clover liked to entertain the visitors with her guitar.

Since rainy days were less than optimal for arson, Dolores usually stayed in her room, studying. She wasn't dumb - she knew that Dancer wasn't just trying to keep Dolores' grades up. Why else would the unicorn make her study from books that were far beyond anything ever asked of a high school student? But for the life of her, Dolores could not figure out what sort of plan Dancer was hatching.

"Hey Dancer, playing in the rain?"
Ugh. I hate the rain. But I do need my exercise.
"Oh, I see. Well, I wish I could help you with that, but I'll be going back to finish that book that someone is making me read."
Wait, isn't your school's prom tonight?
"Uh, yeah, I guess. But I'm not going. Anyway, that book--"
It can wait. Let's go for a ride.

Dancer was faster than most cars. The rain had stopped and from the direction Dancer was gallopping in, Dolores hoped that they might give that statue in the town square another shot. She so wanted to see its smug face burn.

Her face fell when Dancer stopped in front of the school.
"What are you doing, Dancer?! Let's go back home!"
Go to your prom, kid. Have a night off. Relax. 
Dolores struggled as Dancer forced her to dismount.
"I told you! I don't want to be here! Let's leave! I don't even have a dress!"

"Come on! Let's go home! Act like a damn horse for once! --- Dancer? Dancer, what are you doing?!"

There was a strange tingling sensation all over Dolores' body as she hovered in the air. Was this what it felt like to be set on fire? Was this Dancer's punishment for Dolores' reluctance to follow orders?

"A... a dress?"
Dolores gaped as she studied the silky fabric that had suddenly materialized around her.
What? Did you think I was going to set you on fire?

Dolores looked at the unicorn's glowing eyes for a second, then quickly averted her gaze. Dancer chuckled. Or neighed. It was difficult to describe.

 You're a smart girl, Dolores. I can't fool you - and I don't want to. These things I ask of you... yes, there is a reason behind all of it. And I will reveal it to you.
Dolores looked up expectantly.
When the time is right. Now go. Have a magical night.
Disappointed, Dolores pouted, but then thought better of it.

"Oh, come here you!"
Dolores hugged Dancer tightly. For a moment, they were just a girl and her pet. All the feelings of foreboding and trepidation were forgotten.

"Thanks, Dancer. Really", Dolores said as she stepped back. "But did you really have to make it a dress with little unicorns prancing all over it?"

Dancer nickered - or laughed - as Dolores turned on her heel and walked towards prom. There was a faint sparkle around her all night.