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Rollin' into Station. [ENDED]


MudBug
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Several days since her wonderful visit in Ponyville and so many new friends, she was entering this part of Equestria with a bright smile and a skip to her steps as the carriages of the train rattled and rolled their way. Green grass turned to sand and rock that was crimson under the desert sunrise that lit up the new day. And on the horizon...Appleloosa.

Holding her sunhat to her head as she poked her head out the side window of the carriage, she watched as the little town came up in view and felt her smile bloom and grow like the flowers she was sure to have growing soon enough.

Once it got closer, she ducked back inside and soon found the train slowly chugga and wugga its way to a stop with a soft screech as the wheels halted on the tracks and dragged till the coaches stopped at the station floor.

She was at her new home.

Eyes bright and sunny, she waited like the others till it came to a full stop as advised, some gentlemanly pony helping her with her luggage only till she was on the station floor and as she stepped off the train, Bluebelle too the first breath of Appleloosan air. So wonderfully rich and dusty. She felt so at one with the ground here.

So at home with nature.

And it looked just like she'd read in all those stories, ponies in ten gallon hats and spurrs, leather jackets and all that. Her white silken hat with her floral arrangement must've looked so out of place in this town. For a moment she was worried if she came off as maybe a bit of a snob with the finery she had.

The matching luggage, the hat...a faint blush came to her face as she looked over the town, dainty saddle purse on her back and luggage sat at her side. Looking out over the little quaint homeland that she'd be settling her roots down into...in a manner of speaking.

"Excuse me, sir," She asked a kindly looking pony with a bushy moustache. "Could you help me with mah luggage?"

The pony politely declined, already with a mesh of little foals undertoe that he was keeping an eye on and Bluebelle just stood there, looking a little stranded with herself.

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Braeburn was becoming more and more excited, the closer the train came to his home of Appleoosa. He had been away for several days visiting his cousins at Sweet Apple Acres and touring their town, Ponyville. As much fun as it was to visit with relatives, though, he was very glad to be back home . The second harvest ever in Appleoosa was about to begin, and he wanted to make sure everything went right.

As the train came to a stop at the station, he was positively hopping up and down from enthusiasm. He grabbed his saddlebags full of knick knacks from Ponyville and a variety of new seeds from his cousins and threw them over his back, before trotting, almost galloping, off the train. He excitedly hopped out onto the platform and kicked up his forehooves, crying out "DARLING AAAAAAAPPLEOOOOOOSA I'M HOME!"

Braeburn looked about smiling - a few other ponies noticed his exclamation and smiled, but most paid him no heed. They were all used to his exclamations. That's alright, he weren't putting on a show, he was just so durn tootin' happy to be home. As Braeburn looked around to soak in the familiar sights of the station he noticed a bluish colored filly pony.. "No, wait", he thought to himself "that is a mule, I don't recall a mule here before! She must be new to these parts". More importantly Braeburn noticed that she seemed to be in need of assistance.

Braeburn went trotting over to the slightly distraught sweet-looking lass of a mule, smiling proudly, "Well hello thar! Welcome to AAAAAAAPPLEOOOOOOSA! You look like you could use some help thar' missie!"

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So many ponies, so many BUSY ponies. A few of the steam engine ponies were aiding the ladies and gentlecolt's with more luggage than herself out of the train and she felt much more stranded with her bags settled behind her.

Maybe this wasn't the best of ideas...maybe she should've just stayed ho-

A loud and certainly cheerful voice seemed to explode the silence, her deep brown eyes widening and she raised a hoof slightly in faint shock as she looked to the honey golden pony infront of her with a soft blink.

Why did he remind her so much of Pinkie Pie? Possibly the energetic way he greeted her...and in a way it did remind her fondly of her cousin.

Straightening her hat as she realised it had probably been disheveled by her little shocked movement, she offered a small and shy smile to the other as he politely offered her his help and was quite the gentleman about it...in an Appleloosan manner she was sure. The accent made her smile in faint rememberance of her father's southern drawl.

"Lan'sakes, Ah must say Ah never quite expected such an energetic greetin', sir." Noticing her bags she went a little bit pink and let out a soft chuckle.

"Oh! If it wouldn' be botherin' y'none, Ah asked the gentlecolt that passed, but he had his hooves full with some little ones."

Motioning with a sweet smile to the stallion that looked a little overborn by the foals he was sheparding around like a bunch of sheep, or were rather sheparding him as he tried to keep them out of mischief's way. Raising a hoof to her mouth as she politely hid her chuckle in a lady like manner, before her eyes turned back to the golden pony.

"Celestia, where are mah manners, mah name is Bluebelle." She said with a soft dipping curtsey. "And your name, sir?"

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Braeburn stepped back for a moment, he certainly didn't meant to rattle the lovely filly, he just really enjoyed meeting new ponies - er, folks - more so if they were arriving in his home town, and especially if they intended to stay, as Appleossa could use all the immigrants it could get. He definitely wanted to make a good first impression. His concern that he over did it quickly washed away when the bluish mule gave such an adorable smile and spoke like a true southern belle that he swore his heart jumped just a tiny bit.

Listening to her introduce herself in such a graceful manner, Braeburn blushed. How could he have forgotten to do so himself! He politely took his hat off and held it close to his chest with his forehoof, "Well, shoot, where'd mah manners run off ter? Mah name's Braeburn, an it surely is a pleasure to meet such a lovely filllll ... such a lovely molly as yourself here in our quaint little settlement of APPPPPLEOOOSA!"

Giving a friendly, flirtatious wink and placing his hat back on, Braeburn smiled more warmly, "Well I'm sure any cowpoke round these parts would help you if they could, but it's my own good luck that I got t' y'all first. I'll be happy to carry those for you little molly". He carefully grabbed the first suitcase with his teeth and tossed it onto his back, then lifted the second between his teeth and held it there. The weight was just a little more than expected, but nothing a farm pony like himself wasn't used to. He smiled around the handle of the luggage, his voice muffled as he politely asked, "where are 'oo 'eaded?"

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Little molly? She felt herself go a bit pink in the cheek as she smiled almost bashfully at how charming this pony was, she was getting such kind welcomings wherever she was going and the memory of her mothers words rang rather cruelly in her long ears. Never accepted. Seen as a freak. Ugly. Seems mother dearest wasn't as wise as she thought she was and as those big brown eyes watched the pony, she could feel her own smile growing.

It did falter ever so slightly as he took on the burden of her luggage, raising a hoof in faint worry to her mouth as she saw him stack them on his back and clutch one in her mouth before she could protest for the sake of his back.

But he seemed to be handling them alright. Thankfully.

Smiling, his muffled words caught into her ears and she rummaged around her saddle purse and took out a piece of paper.

"It didn' have an address, but th' name o' the house is uhm 'Apple Bow Cottage'..." Looking from the piece of paper to Braeburn, she smiled in faint embarssment.

"Do you know where that is?"

When they'd have started off, in high hopes that this gallant gentlecolt knew his way around. And he certainly seemed too, she couln't help but spot that cutie mark of his and feel a touch in awe of what it was. An Apple. An APPLE. Could he be...? Oh certainly he must...

Clearing her throat delicately as she walked by his side, her eyes glanced over him curiously.

"Forgive mah curiousity, Braeburn, but, are y'all part of the Apple Fam'ly? That helped grow the apples here?"

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Ah, the soft rocking of a small row boat out on a crystal clear lake. Such a peaceful and quiet- Screech!

Wisp jolted forward as a couple boxes in the cargo car bumped into her. She yawned, sat up and looked around. That rocking she felt was not a boat at all, but a moving train; she just hadn't realized it yet. 'Ugh... who's shoving stuff around in here?'

The night before Willow Wisp had been out, looking for more to put in her guidebook. She'd heard rumors of a 'spirit' at the train station in Ponyville and decided to check it out. That included the trains themselves. However she'd been up most the day helping her cousin with a project and by the time she'd made it to the cargo car, she was worn out. For a moment she planned to rest her eyes, but ended up falling asleep in a pile of hay in the corner. Which meant now, as she got around, she was in for a rude awakening.

'Where...' she blinked as the door opened so a couple of the station workers could fetch bags for the passengers. It was bright, and she felt warmth on the air. Much warmer than she remembered Ponyville being.

It only took a moment, her eyes went wide and she darted out the open car door to the station platform. The poor worker pony nearly got head butted by the panicked Unicorn. Where the hay was she? She looked around worriedly. Bright sun, dry air, cactus? The desert? She was in the desert!?

'Oh no! I feel asleep on the train!'

In a panic she started sprinting across the platform. This was a horrible mistake, she needed to get on the next train out and heading back to Ponyville. But she had no idea where to even start when it came to finding that out. Not to mention her mine was just spinning with what was happening. In her hurry, she tripped on a loose board, and from there on everything moved in slow motion. She was in the air for a moment, then skidding along the ground until she crashed into a stallion hauling the bags of another passenger.

"Ugh..." her glasses had slid down and were laying cock eyed on her face. She had no idea she would be running into Braeburn again so soon, and quite literally. Only, in a partial daze, hadn't even noticed who she'd hit. "...Sorry..."

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Braeburn cheerfully smiled, it didn't bother him none to have his saddlebags, a couple luggage cases on his back and one in his mouth, he was a strong farmer pony of Appleoosa, and a member of the Apple family, thar' none stronger, at least that is what he told himself to keep up his confidence. Truth was he could carry that entire luggage, but not for a long while, it was pretty hot and it was heavier than it looked - still he wasn't about to disappoint the pretty molly, no sirree!

He watched as Bluebelle pulled out a paper that turned out to have the place she was staying on it located. Fortunately Applelossa was still pretty small, and everypony who lived here knew of every place in and around town. "Apple Bow Cottage?", he thought for a few seconds before the location became clear in his mind, "Yes missy, I certainly do, I know every place in AAAAAAAPPLEOOSA!". In his excitement in replying he dropped the baggage in his mouth and almost managed to tip the luggage on his back as he reared upwards. "Whooooah nelly!", he cried, walking back on his hind legs to keep his balance and keep the luggage from falling off of his back, before coming back down on all fours. "Ahem, sorry about that miss Bluebelle. As ah was sayin', it's out on the edge of town. A lil' place out by the orchards, but I didn' know anyone actually lived thar yet". Braeburn blushed as he picked up the baggage he dropped with his teeth. "I'll be happy 'o escor' 'oo 'ere Miss Bluebelle."

Trotting along and smiling with a large grin, being more careful with the baggage in his mouth, he heard her ask if he was a member of the Apple family. Braeburn's eyes sparkled a little and was about to give another answer - hopefully without being so excited - when suddenly something flew over Bluebelle and crashed right into Braeburn's side, knocking him over and tossing the luggage he was carrying everywhere. Braeburn, momentarily stunned, shock his head and let out a brief neighing sound. He quickly looked over and noticed a still bewildered black unicorn with a blue mane. She seemed awfully familiar, but he couldn't quite remember ... Until he saw that ghost cutie mark and then it finally dawned on him, the filly he met at Sweet Apple Acres!

"Willlll.. Willow Wisp? Is that you???"

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Oh he knew where it was! Thank goodness for that. Her smile beamed as she followed him and politely hid a giggle as he dropped the bag and continued to trot after the cheerful pony. He was such an energetic gentlecolt! She felt exceedingly lucky to be in the company of somepony who knew his way around like he knew the back of his hoof.

Glancing over the buildings and the scenery, it just filled her heart with a resounding warmth. This was going to be her new home. She was so excited.

"Well Ah jus' moved here, signed th' documents a few weeks 'go when a nice stallion came with th' papers." She replied with a soft smile. Still worried for the pony's back and still wondering...if he was actually an apple pony.

When it seemed like he was about to answer though, a blue and black blur just appeared out of nowhere, her luggage going everywhere and Braeburn and the blur tumbling as she followed suit worriedly before realising it was infact a unicorn. And a very flustered unicorn aswell! When she mentioned something about falling asleep on the train, a soft gasp escaped the mule.

"Oh you poor dear! Here lemme help you up, you took an awful tumblin' there!" Holding out her hoof to the unicorn, she glanced over the filly, or Willow, as Braeburn had mentioned and wondered if she was alright. She also wondered if Braeburn was alright. Those unicorn horns musn't have felt nice it they poked the wrong place.

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Wisp remained splade out on the ground for a moment or two, eventually taking the help up offered by Bluebelle. Hearing her name the dazed look in her eyes faded and her head snapped in Braeburn's direction. Somepony she knew. By Celestia's wings that meant she wasn't in such horrible luck after all.

'Braeburn!' In her flustered and panicked state she darted to where she had knocked him and put her front hooves on his front haunches. 'Where the hay am I?! I'm not suppose to be here! I was checking on the Ponyville train station last night... some rumor of ghosts and well that's right up mile alley... but I was tired because I didn't sleep during the day when I normally do... so I closed my eyes for a moment in the cargo car and... now I'm here! And it's hot! And there are cactus! It's the desert! I need to get HOME!'

The words flew out of Wisp's mouth rather quickly, she'd even began to shake the poor stallion a bit. Needless to say a few passersby had stopped to stare at the scene. One well known member of the town, scattered luggage, a concerned mule and a crazed unicorn was hard to miss.

Her eyes darted back and forth as she noticed what she was doing. She dropped back to all fours, gave a sheepish laugh and backed up a little. 'Heh...' Finally glancing back toward Bluebelle she smiled with and expression that read of her embarrassment. 'Uh...hi.'

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Braeburn looked himself over quickly - he wasn't gored by the unicorn horn, and being tackled into the dust wasn't anything a young farmer colt of the Apple family couldn't easily brush off. As soon as he recovered though, Willow started to sound off in a rather hurried panic, even grabbing him and shaking him.

"Willow -" he tried to say, but her panicked babbling cut him off. "Will-" he tried again, but she just kept talking. "Wi-" he tried a third time, his head bobbling back and forth like it was on a spring. He was starting to feel a bit dizzy.

"WILLOWWISP!" he finally cried loudly, just as she stopped, suddenly realizing the scene she was causing.

Braeburn picked up his trusty hat and placed it back on his head, giving himself a moment to take it all in. "Well, lil' filly, th' train doesn't come to AAAAAAAppleoosa more'n once or twice a week... Th' conductor ponies won't be takin' off till tomorrow, any which way, no how. They need a good night's sleep, an' besides, they won't likely pull th' train through th' pass at night, not with the pass bein' haunted an' all. Y'all will have t'find someplace t'sleep." Looking about at the scattered luggage, Braeburn chuckled, shook his head, then picked it up with his teeth and swung it onto his back, "Don't worry, Miss Willow, we'll fix y'all right up!"

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The poor unicorn, it did seem that she was far out of her element but the Appleloosan that had been all to kind to help her out was also too happy to help this 'Willow Wisp' out aswell and that just made her smile at him. Such a gentleman.

Brushing away any blush that may have strayed on her cheeks, her eyes wandered to the unicorn with a pleasent smile as she removed her hat with a few dainty tugs of the silk that held it to her head, flopping her ears once they were free. What a relief.

"If'n y'need some place to stay, Braeburn was jus' takin' me to mah new home, y'all can weather the day out there if y'like?"

Again her manners had left her and she sighed to herself almost embarassedly, cheeks now full blush wih pink.

"Sorry, mah name's Bluebelle, it's lovely to meet y'all miss Wisp, Ahm sure y'll get home safely like Braeburn said."

The molly offered a reassuring smile to the other as she rested her hat leisurely on her flanks.

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'Until tomorrow? Poor Grimmy...' Wisp sighed hearing that. She hoped Grim would be okay by himself. Surely he would go find someone when she didn't come home. He had met a couple other colts already, maybe he could stay with one of them while she was gone.

She looked to Bluebelle, an embarrassed look on her face. However in the back of her mind she couldn't help note the irony in the whole scene. From what she saw while Braeburn was visiting his family, he was the one usually rambling and someone was shouting to get his attention.

'Oh, nice to meet you two, Bluebelle... and you don't have to offer me a place to stay. I mean I'm practically a crazy stranger from the train.' Wisp chuckled lightly. 'If you're just moving in here, I don't want to be a bother.'

Then she looked back to the stallion as he went about picking up the mess she made. Something he'd said in his explanation had her interests perked. And if she was going to be there for at least a day then she wanted to know more.

'And what do you mean the pass is haunted, Braeburn? You mean you got a local ghost story?' That was right up her alley. 'Well I'm here, I could look into that... oh I bet that would be great for my guidebook.'

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Bareburn continued to gather all of Bluebelle's luggage, grabbing the cases with his teeth and tossing them on his back. He had promised to help her after all, and no gentlecolt is going to break a promise to a filly or a molly - and now it seemed he had the attention of both! What a wonderful way to start a morning in dear Appleoosa. He smiled as she offered her own home to Willow for a rest. "Why, that's right neighborly of y'all, Miss Belle! Y'all will fit right in here in AAAAAAppleoosa, sure if y'don'! We're all mostly Apple family round heah, and we Apple Family ponies do like t'be good neighbors!"

He smiled to Willow as he worked, leaving the last bit of luggage laying as he talked. He wanted to reassure her that there was nothing for her to be afraid of...  "Oh, nothin' t'worry yer pretty lil' head about, Miss Wisp!  T'aint nothin' t'be afraid of!  Started wit' a lil' foal that wandered off an' got lost.  Found him in th' pass, an' he was talkin' bout headless horses.  Then some prospectors went up that way, found themselves a cave ... but anyone who goes near that cave gets the shivers right down t'their soul, an' they up an' high-tail it outta there!  Then, last train t' leave t' head through the pass at night, t'aint no one from AAAAAAAAaappleoosa never saw them again!  Next week we had a new train, wit' new conductor ponies!  But they don't leave at night no more, so you ain't got a thing t'worry 'bout."

That settled, so she wouldn't go wandering over there at night, or worry that something was going to happen, he then offered what help he could for her. "But if'n y'all do want t' look into it, ah kin certainly see if'n ah can't guide y'all round t'the folk what found th' cave!"

Looking back towards Bluebelle and smiling broadly, he trotted in front of the final piece of baggage, "I hadn't forgotten your question Miss. Bluebelle! Ah am indeed part of the Apple Family and the fiiine tradition of growing all the best and most delicious appples in all of Equstria!  That is why Ah'm heah, Ah always wanted an apple orchard to call mah own, and they said that nopony could grow apples out here in the Painted Pinto Desert.  Well Ah'm darn tootin' to prove 'em we can, and it'll be the best orchard in all the West!"  Braeburn smiled proudly for a few moments, with his head held high ... then gave a sheepish little grin. "Heh, got carried away thar'", he said quietly. "Shall we head on over to 'Apple Bow Cottage then ladies?" He picked up the handle of the last piece of baggage in his teeth, and stepped lightly down the dirt street once more.

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"Oh deary, y'all wouldn' be a bother at all, but maybe Ah was bein' a tad too friendly us bein' jus' met."

She said as Willow politely denied her request, she couldn't blame the unicorn, after all they had just met and she dipped her head gently with a smile before watching as Braeburn lead the way to her new home and began telling the unicorn about quite a peculiar tale. A haunted pass....? Headless horses!? Goodness, those are things she'd only ever read in books.

But Equestria was a mysterious place to live after all...but still...she'd never thought that such things might exist...they were just old mare's tales. Stories to keep foals in their beds.

She should know.

She had no place to comment on it however and smiled as Braeburn spoke again.

She KNEW IT! An honest apple pony! The molly couldn't help but feel a tad starstruck and her cheeks lit up all shades of rosey as she found herself with a slight skip to her step, even if she tried to diminish the skipping just a tad...coordination and herself were not great friends.

"Ah must say, Ah'm honored t'know such a hard workin' pony, 'specially an Apple family pony."

Turning back to the unicorn, there was a soft smile that lifted up over her muzzle, though a faintly concerned one. Who was Grimmy? As they trudged the dirt road behind Braeburn, curiousity finally compelled her to speak.

"Miss Willow, if Ah may ask, who's this Grimmy y'all mentioned?"

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Wisp just smiled and followed along as Braeburn led the way. She didn't want to be a burden to anypony, or in this case, pony or mule. Surely she could just stay in the local inn. Appleloosa had to have an inn, right?

'Grimmy?' She looked to Bluebelle, opting to address that topic first. 'Grim is my little cousin. A school aged foal. He lives with me in Ponyville. After I moved there not too long ago, his parents thought it might do him some good to stay with me for awhile.' She sighed and shook her head. 'I hope he'll go find somepony to stay with when I don't come home. He's made a couple friends... surely he could stay with one of them. Everypony is really nice in town it seems.'

Of course now that the explanation was out of the way, Wisp was ready to jump on a topic the Stallion thought was settled. She wasn't worried about the 'haunted' pass, no, she wanted to see it for herself. And it sounded like Braeburn at least knew the stories or those who did.

'So... this missing train, and headless horse thing... do folks around here really believe it? When does the haunting hour start? Dusk? Or does it have to be completely dark? I'd sure like to go out there and see for myself. I mean, that's some good story material. I wonder if I could find the real cause of it. Sure would be great for my book.'

Yes, Willow Wisp had a new agenda. If she was going to be there for at least a day, then she was going to check out this pass.

'You think you could show me around out there tonight, Braeburn?' Surely a member of the Apple Family wasn't scared of ghost tales... right?

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Braeburn visibly blushed at the compliments Bluebelle kept bringing his way, "Ahh shucks ... Why, thankee kindly, Miss Bluebelle. Ah'm sure y'all have a lovely family, too, an' they must be pleased as punch t'have such a stunning lovely molly such as yourself." He may have been laying it on a little thick, but she appeared to be amicable to his flirtations. He liked flirting - it was something of an art to him, and he genuinely enjoyed the smiles it brough to fillies' faces. Besides, it was rather lonely out here in Appleossa. As wonderful as the place was, there was very little opportunity for companionship, so flirting was often all he had.

Those thoughts quickly turned to something else as Willowwisp had more questions about the local legends of the headless horse and the haunted cave. "Ah recken Ah already told y'all 'bout everythin' Ah know, Miss Willow. I don' know more myself, as Ah've never been up thar." At that point, he figured it was put to rest - it was a yarn for sure, even if he heard the stories many times. He had just wanted to explain why she couldn't go back home today and figured, as it usually does with most folks, the tale would dissuade her from attempting to get back home on her own.

'You think you could show me around out there tonight, Braeburn?' Uh oh.. She was serious, she really wanted to check out the haunted pass ... at night no less! Braeburn was caught in a conundrum - he certainly didn't relish going out in the Painted Pinto Desert at night, and even less so in the case of touring the haunted pass. Not that he believed in a disappearing train or a headless pony, no of course not, that be just silly ... right? Even if he did remember when they got the new train ... besides, he didn't want to disappoint Miss Willow. He hated disappointing anypony, and he absolutely wasn't going to refuse a request from a filly, no sir. He was no coward anyhow!

"Umm ... sure, Miss Willow, Ah'd be willin' to take you up thar tonight, once we have you both settled here. Miss Bluebelle, you are of course to also join us if y'all wish t'go huntin' ghosts." He winked, wanting to show playful confidence like it was no big deal, even if there was that cold pit of nervousness in his stomach.

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A little foal? All alone!? How dreadful, the worry was apparent on her face as she looked over Willow Wisp before her eyes turned to the train as she thought of the little colt in questrion before she offered a soft, reassuring smile towards the unicorn.

"Ahm sure the little trooper'll be fine." The molly said softly as she followed the pair of them through the town, this place was busy as a beehive! It made her all the more excited to be apart of it and she still had to contain her skippings.

If she fell flat on her flank out here it'd be SO embarassing.

As she watched the pair, she maybe got a little concerned...the stories...WERE just stories weren't they? Just every day stories? No ghosts....right?

Looking over Braeburn's expression and that playful wink, it sort of mellowed out the fears she had of such a place.

"Well is miss Wisp don' mind none...Ah'd love to come'n see."

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This trip, even though unplanned, wasn't shaping up to be bad at all. Sure she was worried about her cousin, but she had a feeling he'd be okay. Grim was smart. He'd find somepony to stay with and he had Morty and Scribe with him.

When Braeburn agreed to be her night time desert guide, a smiled spread on her face. This was the kind of thing that got her excited. Especially when it was tracking down information on local myths she'd never heard of. Wisp couldn't contain it, and a little side of her nopony usually saw was on display.

'Really?' She gave a happy little whinny as she reared up and then bucked. 'Wonderful! Oh this will be great! And I won't have to worry about overheating any at night.' The Unicorn let out another excited sound at the thought. The story really did have everything a ghost hunter looked for.

'I can't wait! I hope we see something. Even if it's just a desert creature.' She was already plotting it out in her mind. 'Hmmm, what kind of creatures are there now that I think of it? Let's see, I know I've heard of a couple, but there isn't much in dept. This area I think is still widely unstudied. OH! Maybe we'll find something new!'

She flashed her smile to Bluebelle. 'And of course you can come! I love showing others this kind of thing. You'd be amazed how little most know about the supernatural and the occult.' That said she looked back to Braeburn, that smile still plastered on her face. 'Oh and it'll be great to have a local guide! You're so nice, Braeburn.'

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Braeburn, you dumb cowpoke, how did y'all get yourself hogtied into this?, the young stallion contemplated to himself.  What pony would in their right mind want to check out where an entire train disappeared, at night no less?  Serve y'all right if'n y'all ne'er came back.

He had no choice, of course.  he'd promised the filly, and no way, no how, was he going to break a promise.  It didn't take long for the trio to reach the small homestead on the edge of Appleoosa.  As small as Ponyville was to most ponies, Appleoosa was even smaller - get up to a gallop and blink, and you'd be through it, right enough.  Only had one street, with the orchards and fields surrounding it the little cluster of houses like a protective envelope from the large desert beyond. Apple Bow Cottage itself was quite a bit remote from the rest of these homes - nice and quiet, if a bit small, tucked away into a little curve of an outcropping of rock that surrounded too small a plot of land to make a proper orchard.

Walking inside, Braeburn placed the baggage in his mouth down on the floor near the entrance and began to slide each case off his back one at a time, which was a nice relief.  "So what will y'all be doin' here in *ahem* AAAAAAppleossa, Miss. Bluebelle?", he smiled  proudly, remembering this time not to rear up as he proudly proclaimed the name everyone was familiar with by now, mindful of the suitcase still on his back.

Braeburn carefully slid the last suitcase off his back and placed it upright on the floor with his teeth. Smiling politely, he blushed and quickly took off his hat. "Where are mah manners?  Please excuse me fer fergettin' t'take off mah hat."  He smiled, but let out a regretful sigh.  "Ah should really get back to mah orchard an' check up on things, 'specially Bloomberg.  Ah promised mah cuz' Ah'd check him ever' day.  Did y'all need anythin' afore ah take off an ... umm ... see y'all t'night?"

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There it was.

Her cottage.

Her little slice of Appleloosan heaven.

The mule had to stare slightly in awe as she looked over her new home and her bags were settled down inside. It was just how it was in the deed. A nice spacious garden, sure it was just dirt at the moment. But soon enough it would be blooming so brightly and vividly!

A smile broke out over her as she inspected her new home like an exciteable little foal, she felt like it was her birthday and she was finally getting a gift!

It was so lovely, sure maybe a little dusty in places, maybe a little old looking, but old wasn't bad, it just meant the house had weathered most if not all that had come its way! And that made her affection for the old building grow more!

Glancing at the others from over her corner, there was a slightly embarassed expression that flushed over her face, causing her to blush as she akwardly stepped back with them and smiled. Trying to rub the the blush from her cheeks.

Hearing Braeburn's question, there was a bright an eager smile that fluttered over her lips.

"Ahm gonn' be openin' up mah own little flower shop! It's gonn' be the prettiest lil' thin y'ever saw! An' Ahm gonna sell rose hip jam an' all them nice things with ever bouquet Ah sell! Once Ah get the place painted up an' dusted tha' is."

Smiling to herself as she looked over her new home before she noticed the other saying he'd have to go. Blinking her eyes, she felt slightly disapointed to see the other go, he'd been so helpful...but she supposed that he was a busy farm pony in the long run, still, he'd been such a gentlecolt.

Moving over to the stallion she dipped to another gentle curtsey while that big smile was aimed to her, same towards Willow Wisp. Feeling so ontop of the world.

"Well y'all are welcome to come visit me any time, Ah'll be sure to be ready for tonight though!"

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While Wisp was in her own little world, running over all sort of possibilities of what could cause a missing train, she hadn't noticed they'd reached Bluebelle's new home. Well that was until she nearly tumbled through the door because she stubbed her hoof on the door jam. Though she hoped her little slip up wasn't notice.

'Ah, this is a nice place. Kind of reminds me of a few of houses in my hometown. Pretty small place where I grew up. Couple farms, a few cottages like this... I bet it'll make a nice flower shop.' She smiled. 'I do hope you'll grow some Daffodils. Sure, they don't always smell the best, but they're hardy and those bright yellows and oranges... in a place like this... you could say you were making bouquets out of the desert sun.'

Willow Wisp knew a little about plants, not much, but that was because of her mother and her aunt. That and a foalhood friend's family had a Daffodil farm, hence her fondness for them. Though most of her knowledge of them lied in what grew in what seasons because of the farms around her hometown.

As Braeburn mentioned leaving she turned to him. 'Oh, well before you take off, can you point me to the local inn... if there is one? I really don't want to put Bluebelle out since she's just moving in. And then, well I guess we can part ways until tonight. How about meeting at the train station?' She smiled. 'Don't worry if you forget a lantern either, I've got that covered.' Though she didn't really explain what she meant by that, because clearly she didn't have anything packed.

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Braeburn turned his head slightly and blushed visibly as he watched Bluebelle do her gentile curtsey, She truly is a belle, and so pretty to boot, he thought, feeling a little giddy. As the yellow earth pony placed his hat back on his head and headed towards the door, he looked back at the molly while shyly grinning, "Ah'll surely come an' visit, an' soon! For Ah'd be more'n happy to help ya start yer first garden here in AAAAAAppleoosa, Miss Bluebelle!"

Walking outside with Willow, Braeburn heard her inquire to him about the local inn. The first thought that came across Braeburn's mind was to invite her to stay at his place. Wouldn't be neighborly to do anything else for a stranded filly. Unfortunately, he realized, his was a home built for one, with just one bedroom and one bed. As big of a flirt as he was here, and back when he first met Willow at Sweet Apple Acres, his invitation would simply be taken the wrong way, and he certainly didn't want to imply he was that kind of stallion. Realizing he was blushing at the thought of how cute she was, he quickly recovered and pointed south with one hoof. "Well, Miss Willow, it's right back that-a-way where we started, then take a left. There's only one street in AAAAAppleoosa! Inn's on th' right, y'all can't miss it!" He grinned. "If'n y'all want, ah kin lead y'all right theah."

With that little informal speech he realized she had no bits on her. He nuzzled into his saddlebag and proudly produced a small stack with his teeth. "And here y'all go, Miss Willow, this ought to be enough to pay for a good room, and never you mind havin' to pay me back!"

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Willow listened carefully as she got instructions to the inn. Having bid short good byes to Bluebelle for the time being, she was focused on getting a little rest. After all they were going out for an adventure and she needed to make sure she didn't doze off again. Luckily it didn't seem like it would be hard to find anything in the town since there was just the one main street.

'Oh, I think I can find it on my own,' she nodded. 'You sounded like you needed to get back to your trees anyway.'

When he offered her the bits though, Wisp kind of paused. At first instinct she just about reached out to take them from him. But she paused as she leaned in, mouth somewhat a gape. The bits were in his mouth, if she took them with her mouth... The black Unicorns face clearly flushed pink as she leaned back after a moment. Even with magic it didn't always occur to her to use it first. This was just one of those situations. And she was sure that her action just made the whole thing awkward.

'Heh...' Wisp looked off to the side and coughed. 'Oh... uh no need to pay, Braeburn... you've helped plenty and all... and...' she needed a way out and quick; she could just feel her face burn as she mentally bucked herself for almost doing something stupid. 'I... I can just offer to wash the dishes or something! Yeah! No worries... hahah... See you tonight then!'

And without another word, she turned and took off running down the street until she was turning the corner and out of sight.

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