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Bramble Rose

Night Riding - Into the Cave! [Closed]

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One of the mares, a soft green one with bright red hair and a wrench for a cutie mark, looked up in confusion. "Where are we?" she asked.

Doctor Whooves clapped her on the shoulder "The desert, of course! Nothing special, you've just been eaten for a couple years by a spirit lantern!" he looked over and nudged a stallion wearing a very out-of-date pith helmet. "And you've been gone for a little longer than that. Spectacular hat, though!"

But it was Dio's suggestion that finally got him moving. "Ah, yes! Wonderful idea!" He looked around at the dozens of shaky ponies, and the few spare diamond dogs. "Let's all head to town for a bit of a fry up! I'm famished! Great way to end an adventure!"

He paused, and nudged a few socks out of the way, and his eyes brightened. He picked up a deep red and grey diamond-patterned sock. "I was wondering where you'd popped off to!" He slung the sock over his shoulder, then picked up the little abandoned lantern in his teeth. "And I know *just* where *you* can go!" The lantern gave a faint little blue flicker of response, as Doctor Whooves happily walked forward, leading the whole mob back towards his cart - and past that, towards the town of Appleoosa. There was a train full of ponies who were very, very, very late in arriving.

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Braeburn was amazed - all those rumors and stories about the ghosts, the missing train, the haunted cave, the wandering spirits, it was all true! Better yet, thanks to last night’s events, it was all solved. He gave Willowisp another hug, grinning around broadly. Never had he felt so exhilarated, so very alive, as he did right now! He even chuckled at Dio's roundabout compliment. The pegasus may well have been right - it had seemed insane enough at the time, Braeburn had hardly had time to think! He was just glad instinct had carried him through."Thankee fer bein' there to help us, though! Y'all are always welcome in mah home!" He looked over to the eccentric earth pony, who seemed rather fascinated with the socks. "And to y'all, strange Doctor, whenever y'all an' yer travellin' wagon come by again, look me up! Ah'm sure this is just one of yer stable of stories!"

He smiled as he looked out upon the motley crew of ponies and Diamond Dogs; they would all finally get to go home. First, to to Appleoosa to make sure everypony was alright - which just widened Braeburn's grin. Some of the rescued wouldn't even know about the new town! As for the train itself - they'd have to send a whole team of heavy movers to get it out of the sand. Heck, maybe they'd leave it there, quite the tourist site! And the archeologists showing up for that old city! "The legendary ghost train, brought back from a realm of spirits and darkness, thanks to one Willowisp and her friends; sounds good don't it?" Braeburn turned his broad grin upon Willow, who seemed in even brighter spirits than he, for she truly did get her story.

"Welp! Let's get us all back to AAAAAAAPPLESOOA! We have quite the tale to tell!" Indeed they had; four ponies who had been strangers beforehand managed somehow to work together to stop a terrible devouring spirit monster, saved those thought lost, and solved an ancient desert mystery. Now there would be a new story to tell around the campfires of the Painted Pinto, one of hope and perseverance and heroism. Trotting proudly along to make sure the group followed Dio's lead, Braeburn beamed; he finally had a tale of his own to tell his cousins!

-- The End --

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