Behind the Light
Moonstone looked around the green, lush meadow. It was slowly getting dark, and it was time for his little family to start the trek back to Castle Town. He nuzzled his mate, Flowerdew, who had been taking a nap, then called for his foal.
The little family had come to Rain's Meadow, by the Guard Mountains, for an afternoon picnic. While Flowerdew napped, Moonstone had sat and wondered about his foal, who romped in the meadow and played in the stream. He wondered why little Starshower was so different from all the other baby ponies her age.
She had been born a Rainbow unicorn, just like her father. Most of her relatives were Rainbows and unicorns as well, although some of them weren't both. But unlike any of the family of either Flowerdew or Moonstone, she had an all white body. No one in Moonstone or Flowerdew's family had the white body coloring. And uncharacteristically of the pony race, she had no symbol.
The filly had been named in honor of the day she had been born, for a shower of stars had filled the night sky over Castle Town and Azure Castle.
Not even the rulers, King StormCloud and Queen Rose Petal, or any of the palace advisors, knew what to do with Starshower and her not having a symbol. There was no record in any of the palace books of a symbol-less pony. And the mage at the Shrine of Light, deep in the Guard Mountains, hadn't been seen for the past eleven years.
Something else that bothered everyone in the Radiare Lands was the fact that Starshower was devoid of any magic. In fact, she seemed to be allergic to it. Moonstone and Flowerdew had refrained from using it around her ever since the first time she had gotten headaches from it being used around her.
It was on the trail back to Castle Town that they came.
It wasn't quite night, and a few stars were already out. There was still enough light to see to walk.
But they were blacker than a starless night, blacker than one's darkest nightmares. They appeared to ride winged creatures. Dragons, from the fire that issued form their mouths. The fire lit up the six inch long fangs of the dragons, and the dragons' riders.
They were pitch black, and their skin was twisted and gnarled. Their shape was humanoid, but not human. Their mouths twisted in harsh grimaces, and their teeth protruded at odd angles. They had two arms, each ending in six sharp, claw-tipped nails. One hand of each figure was plunged to the palm into the dragons' hides.
Starshower's eyes snapped open. Her first thought was to glance around the small corner of the brick house she was in, and listen.
She had been dreaming. But she remembered the day of her family's picnic. She remembered that day of happiness. She remembered the day that they came, bringing black darkness in their wake. What she no longer remembered was the rolling, green hills and the beautiful, clear streams.
It had been two and a half years since they had come. The Radiare Lands were no longer good and beautiful.
For they were in control now.