The branches of the giant tree sway in the gusting wind, rain pounds down on the leaves and lightning slices through the midnight sky. Six ponies and a baby dragon huddle together around a small lamp in the Ponyville library during this treacherous storm. Twilight Sparkle, caretaker of the library, had invited the other five ponies to a slumber party on this Nightmare Night. Spike, the baby dragon, had snuck down from his bed to join in their telling of haunting tales despite Twilight's warnings. It is currently Pinkie Pie's turn, a fun loving pink pony.
"It was a dark and stormy night," she began, drawing out her words to increase the dramatic effect, "much like this one, when the Phantom Pony came to wreak vengeance on his captors. Thirty years ago three unicorn sisters had imprisoned the Phantom Pony in a mystic necklace and tossed it to the bottom of the lake. It was meant to be his eternal prison, but as the sisters grew older, their magic grew weaker, but the Phantom's power stayed just the same..." A flash of white and the crack of thunder assist her well placed pause, but also causes all seven of them to jump. After regaining her composure from a bought of giggles, Pinkie continues her tale.
"The sisters were now elder ponies and they had all but forgotten the Phantom, entombed in the necklace. On Nightmare Night, when spirits are at their strongest, he broke free of his prison and soared from the bottom of the lake, causing it to boil with his built up hatred. He streaked across the blackening sky toward the sisters' cottage where they were handing out candy to the little fillies and colts.
"He swooped down and possessed a little colt called Lucky and used him to get close to the house, and when he was within reach, the Phantom Pony lept from Lucky's body. As he fell to the ground unconscious, the Phantom grabbed the sisters in his powerful jaws and hauled them off, ponies screeching below in terror."
She pauses, admiring her friends engrossed faces, Rarity had shuffled closer to Spike, or was it the other way around? Rainbow Dash was trying to hold a bored and uninterested look, but her eyes betrayed her, wide and focused, Applejack on the other hand, was leaning forward on her hooves, Pinkie was afraid she might topple over into the lamp. And Fluttershy... Where is Fluttershy? A shivering blanket gives her away and Twilight tries to coax her out with a soothing voice.
Pinkie feels bad for frightening Fluttershy, but decides it best to continue so she could hear the happy ending. "The Phantom carried the sisters up to his cave in the Evergreen Forest, where he locked them in a cell of ice. He said, 'You were fools to think you could keep me in there forever, I admit it took longer than I had expected, but I knew it was only a matter of time before you were too weak to contain me any longer.'" Pinkie spoke in her best Stallion voice and added a raspy whisper to the words. "'Now I shall have my vengeance, on you three and on Celestia for making me the way I am.' He reared back on his hind legs, his jagged edged horn glowing a demonic purple, and-" She is cut off by a startling flash of light that lights up the entire library accompanied immediately by a deafening roll of thunder, along with her own cries and those of her companions.
The library doors open slowly, a lithe pegasus stallion is outlined by the rain and flashes of lightning behind him. Electricity jumps from his spiked coat and puffy tail which resembles a storm cloud in shape. He stands at the edge of a gargantuan scorch mark from a bolt of lightning that had struck just outside the library, he sways slightly in the door frame, his hair slowly settling as the charge leaves his body. Rainbow peeks over her blanket and looks hard at the imposing figure, "Rain Flare?" she inquires, not quite believing that she had uttered the name, one she hadn't heard for many years.
"Hey Dash..." the figure rasps before collapsing in the doorway.
Rain Flare wakes with a start, blinking his deep green eyes in the early morning light. Looking around, he realizes he has no idea where he is. The room is mostly circular, the walls seem to be covered in bark, and the window letting the light shine on his face seems to be in a natural hole. Memories of last night return to him and he figures he must be in one of the Ponyville Library's spare rooms. Sitting up in bed, Rain Flare tries to recall more details of his journey. Princess Luna had called him to Canterlot Palace, claiming it was urgent he get there as soon as possible. He had been stationed on the outskirts of Equestria, keeping a close eye on the Changelings' activity. What could be more important than this? he had thought, but regardless, he had come.
In his hurry he hadn't heard of an oncoming storm the pegasi in Ponyville were stirring up. Desperate to get to the castle before it got too severe, he had flown faster than he had in ages, not since flight school. His spiky, red-brown mane, and bushy tail had started to rise, his hair soon followed suit and Rain Flare had a brief flash back to a race with Rainbow Dash. He had to slow down, or get to the castle faster.
He had, unfortunately, chosen the latter. Static built up along his body, lightning struck closer and closer to him, until finally, a bolt began to chase in his wake. Rain Flare had cursed himself for his recklessness and began a death plunge, unbeknownst at the time, into Ponyville. The bolt of electricity grew in size as his speed increased. When the bolt was just meters from singeing his bushy tail, he pulled up into a more sloped dive that the bolt could not follow. The giant bolt struck the ground a few yards behind him, emanating a huge bang. He panted heavily, landing in front of a large tree. Stumbling forward to rest against it, the doors he hadn't noticed opened gently as he leaned on them. Inside were several quivering blankets around a dim lamp. One shape had poked its rainbow-maned head out and asked if he was Rain Flare. He had greeted his old friend before passing out. Now remembering what had transpired, he gets up to officially greet his host.