It was early in the morning, so early that most of the members of a large farm outside a small town were still asleep. It was so early that the sun not yet peeked over the horizon, leading outside to have a deep shade of magenta. And it was so early that the small sound of trotting within the farmhouse, the careful sound to make sure it doesn’t wake anybody, was unusual.
Within the farmhouse a cream colored earth pony filly with a red mane and a pink bow tied around the back of her mane was walking around a supply room stuffing a few supplies into a cream colored saddle bag with a wooden apple embroidered on the bag. Among those supplies were a saw, a hammer, and some nails. She also grabbed some paper and a pencil and a note from a shelf just to the left of where she was, but she only planned on taking the pencil and paper with her. After making sure that she got everything she needed she walked out of the supply room.
Her next stop within the farmhouse was the kitchen. She didn’t plan on getting much there since she only had one other saddle bag she was taking, but she did grab a couple bottles of water from the fridge, and few apples from the cupboard. She couldn’t fit a lot in her other saddle bag but she hoped it would be enough to get her through until she was able to get more, whenever that would be. After making sure she got what she needed she trotted across the wooden floor to the wooden table in the center of the room, got out the note she got in the supply room and the pencil, and began writing a note.
By the time you read this note you’ve probably already noticed that I’m gone. Don’t panic, I’m fine. I left by myself because I wanted to leave. Because I’m running away.
Listen; don’t think this is your fault in any way. I’m not leaving because I don’t like it here, and I’m not leaving because of anything you did sis. I’m running away because I’m out of school, able to help out on the farm, and haven’t been doing anything.
Y’all know I’m good at carpentry. I can fix things up and build a lot of things. But the problem is y’all don’t need somepony who is able to do that. If the fence ever breaks ya usually have Caramel there to fix it and whenever we raise the barn I feel like a third wheel. And that’s all I’m really good at. I can’t applebuck like you or Big Mac, I definitely can’t plow the fields. Y’all have Fluttershy now to take care of the animals and since you brought in Braeburn after Granny Smith died ya have somepony to help out with everything else.
And it ain’t just that. Ponyville itself doesn’t need somepony like me. I asked Mayor Mare and she told me the last large construction project Ponyville had was the creation of the new Cutie Mark Crusader Clubhouse after the town decided since we kept getting members they should keep an eye on us. She also told me there aren’t really any plans right now for any other construction projects. So not only can’t I do anything on the farm, but I can’t do anything in the town.
I know you guys told me to wait until I’m of age and then you’d send me off ta find some job, but I just can’t wait that long. I need to leave. This little Apple needs to find someplace to blossom. I’m going to leave Ponyville and find some town that I can work at. I’m going to be the hard working Apple that you want me to be, that Big Mac wants me to be, and that Mah and Pah wanted me to be. And I need to be somewhere else to do that.
Please don’t try to find me and bring me back here. I need to do this Applejack, and I need to do this now.
After finishing with the note Apple Bloom placed it on the table, where Applejack would most likely see it when she wakes up in a few hours. She then placed the pencil back into her construction supplies saddle bag and sighed. The teenage earth pony took a good last look at the kitchen, reliving all of her memories of the place, before leaving the kitchen behind.
Maybe, maybe Ah should try and write a letter ta Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom thought, but…Ah really don’t know what Ah’d say ta them. They’ll probably hate me for this and Ah really don’t blame them. Ah hope they can forgive me someday.
She walked up to the front porch and looked at the small bit of carpet next to the door. A pang of pain shot through her as she remembered her dog Winona used to sleep there in the mornings before she passed on. She knew that if Winona was here she would wake up at Apple Bloom’s movements, but since Winona wasn’t Apple Bloom passed by without problem. And the earth pony almost wished that she wasn’t able to pass by without any problem.
Apple Bloom trotted out the door and made a beeline for the path outside of the farm that leads to the town. She walked along that path for a few seconds but after those few seconds she felt she was far enough away. So the filly turned around and took one last look at the red farmhouse she grew up in, the one place she could return to at any point in time, the place that she used to call home, before turning around and leaving it all behind. She walked on the path towards town, and as she walked a tear fell down the right side of her face for the first time.
Apple Bloom walked through the barren streets of Ponyville her eyes constantly glancing around her. Because of how early it was in the morning there appeared to be nobody out on the streets, which is just what Apple Bloom was hoping for. They would obviously notice the saddlebags at her side and she would rather not have to ask questions. Still she kept her ears perked as she walked, so if somepony happened to be walking around right now she would hear them whether they were on the path or trotting across the wet grass to the sides of the road.
The earth pony filly knew that she could have just walked around Ponyville if she wanted to, and it would have probably been a safer bet for her, but it also would have been a longer walk. Since the sun just reached high enough to be seen, there would soon be a few early risers waking up and if Apple Bloom took the path around one of those early risers could see her. She knew for a fact that her friend Scootaloo liked to wake up early so the pegasus could practice tricks, and Scootaloo was the last pony Apple Bloom wanted to see her.
Eventually Apple Bloom trotted across Ponyville and reached one of the last buildings that she would see of the town, Golden Oaks Library. As Apple Bloom looked at the literal tree house another pang shot through her as she thought of who was probably sleeping in there right now. Somebody who she had a crush on for the longest time. As she looked at the library she felt guilty that she wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to him, but she knew she couldn’t.
Ah wish Ah could tell ya, Apple Bloom thought. Ah wish Ah could tell ya a lot of things. What Ah feel about you, what Ah’m thinking right now. There are a lot of things Ah wish Ah could do. But…Ah can’t. Ah just hope you’re still here when Ah get back…if Ah get back.
Apple Bloom realized she had been looking at the treehouse for a while now and snapped out of her spell with a shake of her head. She took a few steps to the right to get ready to pass around the treehouse and started walking closer to it. She got close to the treehouse and was about to walk around it’s right side when she noticed something. The doorknob on the wooden door was starting to turn. Apple Bloom panicked and immediately and ran to the right side and out of view from the door.
Apple Bloom, as soon as her body was obscured by the treehouse, peeked her head around to see who was walking out of the library. When she managed to put her head in position she saw a purple dragon with green scales and a yellow belly put a note on the library. He then looked around to make sure nobody was looking before grabbing for something outside of Apple Bloom’s view.
What the hay is Spike doin’? Apple Bloom questioned. He shouldn’t be up this early. Spike is usually sleepin at this point in time.
Eventually what Spike was grabbing reached Apple Bloom’s view and she saw that it was a backpack. The same lime green backpack that Twilight gave Spike for his last birthday, modified so that he would actually be able to wear it on his back without his scales ripping it. Spike put the backpack around his back, wrapping the straps around his side while being careful for some limbs he grew a while back, and once again looked around. After looking around Spike started walking to the opposite side of the library from where Apple Bloom was at.
“What do ya think y’all are doin?” Apple Bloom called out before Spike could get very far. Is he…doin what Ah think he’s doin?
Spike literally jumped and his wings snapped out from surprise. He quickly turned around just in time to see Apple Bloom walking up to him, a curious look on her face. Spike’s mind raced, trying to think of a good excuse for what he was doing right now that would break Apple Bloom’s curiosity.
“I uhh…am going for a quick early morning run,” Spike lied. “According to a book I read, it’s really healthy for you.”
“Oh really?” Apple Bloom asked, making it known with her voice that she didn’t believe him one bit. “Well then Ah’ll join ya. Ah’m heading out for a ‘run’ as well.”
“No I…I want to go it alone,” Spike said.
“Why?” Apple Bloom asked. “’According to a book Ah read running with a friend is better than running alone.’ Ah bet we read from the same book.”
“Apple Bloom I…” Spike sighed, giving up. “Fine. I’m running away.”
“Ah figured just about as much,” Apple Bloom said. “Why are ya runnin away Spike? What happened?”
“It’s…personal,” Spike said. “Yes I have a reason obviously, but I’m not about to tell you what that reason is.”
“Is Twi ok?” Apple Bloom asked. Last she heard Twilight was still in Canterlot on royal duties and if something happened to her then Spike would naturally be the first to know.
“Yes Twilight is ok,” Spike said, his voice showing frustration. “I told you it’s personal! You can stop asking now!”
Apple Bloom took a step back at the harshness in Spike’s voice. She could tell, she could feel, that something was wrong with him. Something happened to Spike and Apple Bloom didn’t know what. So Apple Bloom immediately resolved to figure it out. And the first thing she needed to do in order to do that was…
“Alright fine,” Apple Bloom said, “but Ah’m heading with you. Ah’m…runnin away myself. And since you happen ta be runnin away too we should go together.”
“Apple Bloom, I’m running away alone,” Spike said, to make himself clear. “Where…where I’m going you can’t come with.”
“Oh yeah?” Apple Bloom asked, calling his bluff. “Where exactly are ya goin then?”
“Just…far away from Equestria. I’m going across the border of Equestria and heading far away. Either way I’m still going alone,” Spike said as he turned his back on Apple Bloom. “And you’re not coming with me, got it!”
“Why?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Why do you want to go with me so bad anyways?” Spike asked in an attempt not to explain anything.
“Well…it’s because Ah’m already gonna run away and Ah’m worried about you,” Apple Bloom said, stating the half-truth. “You’re my friend Spike. So since Ah’m leavin and you’re leavin Ah want ta go with you.”
“Do you know where you’re going?” Spike asked. “Have you even thought of that?”
“Well Ah…guess Ah was thinkin…” Apple Bloom had to pause for a few seconds to think. Apple Bloom’s original plans were to go to a place called Los Pegasus. It was not only one of the closest large cities to her, but also Apple Bloom had a few connections there. She hoped that those connections would make her life a little easier there and let her jump start her job.
But by the way Spike was talking, he was heading far away. And Apple Bloom doubted Spike would go with her such a short distance away. So she needed to think of something, and needed to think of something quick, otherwise Spike will leave and she’ll never see him again. So Apple Bloom quickly picked the closest place to the Equestria border she could think of and said it out loud.
“Phoenix,” Apple Bloom lied. “Ya see, I’m looking for a place where Ah can do some carpentry work, which is why Ah’m runnin away since Ponyville has no jobs, and Ah found they need some carpenters there.”
Spike started at her for a few seconds with an unreadable expression. “And how do you think you’re going to get there?” Spike asked. “The train there leads through Appleloosa and I’m pretty sure as soon as you get there Braeburn’s friends will notice you and they will tell Applejack.”
“That’s why Ah’m not goin that direction,” Apple Bloom said. Come on Apple Bloom, Phoenix was south on the map when you looked at Los Pegasus. Think of what was that way as well. “Ah wasn’t gonna take the train anyways because Ah need to conserve my bits for when Ah get there. The way Ah want ta go, Ah’m plannin on goin through the San Palomino Desert. It’ll be faster ta go through there anyways.”
“The San Palomino Desert?” Spike mused. “What do you know about it?”
“Well…admittedly not a lot,” Apple Bloom said with a shrug of her shoulders. She would have if she was actually going that way, but she wasn’t really planning on going to the desert. “Ah know how ta navigate through it since Ah got a map with me and…Ah know it’s hot and there ain’t much water which is why Ah brought some with me.”
“You…really don’t know what you’re getting into don’t you?” Spike asked.
“Why?” Apple Bloom asked. “What else is there?”
Spike was silent for a few more seconds before sighing. “Alright fine, we’ll go together,” Spike told Apple Bloom.
“You’ll go with me?” Apple Bloom asked, a smile starting to appear on her face.
“Only for a bit though,” Spike noted. “I’m only going to go with you until you get yourself situated in Phoenix. I guess I’m a little worried about you two, especially if you’re going through the desert. But after that I’m going to leave, and you’re not coming with me.”
Spike started walking and Apple Bloom quickly put on a burst of speed to walk by his side. “Alright. Let’s go.”
Spike pointed in a direction and started walking. Apple Bloom continued with him but at first she stayed a little in the back and walked a little hesitantly. She felt a pang of guilt wash over her, and a small bit of disappointment.
Great…Ah had to lie ta Spike, Apple Bloom thought. Ah didn’t want to, but Ah had to. Somethin is wrong with you Spike, and Ah need ta figure out what it is. And Ah’m gonna figure out what it is!