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Home is where the Hearth is [Ponyville]

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Ashton watched the snowflakes fall outside the window as his breath fogged up the glass. The conditions were a little cramped and the roof worryingly groaned whenever a strong gust of wind blew outside but there were far worse places to stay than the Bellflower inn on the outskirts of Ponyville. He wondered if snowstorms were supposed to last this long. He had never left Aquellia before and this was his first winter but still it seemed unusual that no Pegasi were moving these clouds that had been heavily snowing since fairly early this morning. Maybe they were taking part in the Hearth Warming eve celebrations.

It had never really been that big of deal back home. A small sharing of gifts and retelling of the story but to most of the citizens of Rockwington it was just a day like any other. They usually didn't even close up the shop most years. Here in Canterlot and Ponyville it was different. Looking back it was kind of foolish to think shops and stores would be open today. He had hoped to talk with some Unicorn who owned a dress shop nearby only to find they had gone to Canterlot earlier that day. From what he could gather she probably wouldn't be back for quite some time.

He almost regretted coming to Ponyville at all. At first he was optimistic about being able to see a new town but none of the stores were open and most families seemed to be indoors so the streets were rather empty. All the wandering just left him with a case of homesickness. By the time he checked in at the Bellflower he was actually feeling a little bitter about the whole thing. Still he had heard a few other sets of hooves go by out in the hall since he had sat down. Maybe there were a few other ponies who couldn't be with their families this holiday. He glanced over at the set of pipes that was radiating heat into the room. At least the place was warm. So very warm... "zzz..."

A brief crack sound snapped him back awake. The ceiling light and the lamp by the bed had both turned off. Snow had seemed to crawl up with window and now was blocking half of his view. He trotted over and tried to switch the lights back on. Nothing. He opened his door and took a peek out into the hallway. None of the lights were on out here either. The whole place was rather dark. Either it was already night or snow was covering the windows, probably both. He tried to muster a light spell that glowed weakly in the darkness but try as he might he couldn't walk and do magic at the same time. Instead he blundered through the darkened hallways. It wasn't so bad. He did the same thing a lot of the times in the caves.

He made his way to what he thought was the front desk and rang the bell. "Hello?" he called to the darkness. Getting no response he getting no response he began rummaging behind the desk before finding a small flashlight. He switched it on and picked it up in his mouth. The lobby was deserted. No sign of the proprietor and now that he looked closer the snowshoes that had been here earlier were gone too. A small note was left on the desk.

The snow was supposed to stop hours ago.

I've gone into town to see if I can get

somepony to move this cloud from over our heads.

I'll be back in an hour or so.

Aston glance to the door. Hour ago? When was this written? He tried to push open the door to get a look outside. It wouldn't budge. He tried harder this time getting it to open half an inch. Snow was piled up half a foot above his head. There was no way for him to get out. Even if there was a back door it too was probably covered in snow. He pulled the door shut before returning to the note flipping it over hoping to find more information.

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