I glided over Ponyville, scanning the town for anypony down there among the damaged homes and deserted streets. Some of the cottages had burnt down or lost their thatched roofs, most likely from unattended fireplaces and stoves than something more threatening - or at least I hoped so. I shook my head gently, "No, don't get distracted," I murmured to myself, "I need to focus. I should check some of the houses, there could be ponies inside." I thought about my own cottage, and what Angel was probably doing along with the rest of my friends. "Staying hidden. Staying safe."
I banked left and started to descend toward the market, carefully easing into my landing to not disturb the healing cut on my foreleg. I craned my neck around to the left, and then to the right, trying to catch a glimpse of anypony hiding in the shadows or among the ditched wagons and market stalls dotted around. Instead, I saw nopony, and heard nothing but a breath of wind whistling into my ears. It felt unnatural to be stood in what was usually a busy and lively place; there were no booming voices from vendors trying to catch a customer's attention, no chatter from friends bumping into each other while they went about their day, and no fillies and colts running between the grown-up ponies to Sugarcube Corner or to the Joke Shop down the road.
The wind picked up again, and carried with it a chill that didn't belong to the season. Signs creaked on their hinges, and crumpled paper and other bits and pieces blew over the ground around me. I was having second thoughts with searching Ponyville, I didn't feel ready to face what may lie behind the doors of the intact homes, not after feeling the shock of seeing a place usually so alive feel as silent and still as a graveyard. I wanted to go home, be somewhere familiar and safe, and pretend that nothing was wrong for a few hours before starting my journey to Canterlot. I turned away from the market, and started walking through town to the road that led the way home. The streets were silent, except for the rhythm of my hooves echoing against the walls of the houses. I concentrated on the rhythm of my steps, giving my mind something to distract itself with while I walked back to my cottage. I was worried about what I would find at my cottage, Angel was a smart and brave little bunny, but I was still anxious to make sure he and all the other animals were coping with what had happened.
My reverie ended abruptly when I realised that my hoofsteps had changed their rhythm. I frowned as I listened and paid attention to the sound of my hoof-falls, a moment later, I stopped dead in my tracks and ducked down, eyes wide and my knees starting to shake. There were extra steps because somepony or something was a nearby - and they were very close. Out of reflex, I dove over a broken wall and hid inside the ruins of somepony's house. I risked glancing out into the street just as a massive beast ambled into view, dragging his claws in the road behind him. The creature looked a lot like a Diamond Dog, but only with humongous claws on both forelegs and larger, more intimidating teeth. He seemed to be looking for something, and I prayed that it wasn't me. Cautiously, I began to sneak to another wall for a better hiding place, trying my best to not alert the Hound. He had his back to me, and was staring towards the rest of Ponyville. If I could make just a few more careful steps, I would be hidden again...
"Hey, Spoon! Have you found anything over there?" A deep voice yelled in the distance, making me squeak in surprise and accidentally kick some rubble. The Hound's ears shot up straight, and the bulky dog began to turn around. Quickly, I flapped my wings and silently leapt behind the damaged wall I was trying to reach, pressing myself up against it and holding my breath so to not make another sound. I could hear the Hound growling threateningly, and gradually creep his way up to my hiding spot. My heart leapt up into my throat, but I didn't dare swallow it down in case it made a sound he could hear. His muffled steps near, until I was sure he was on the other side of the wall I was hiding behind. I could hear his low, throaty breath, and the sound petrified me as grew closer still. I was going to be found, but I was frozen in place. My mind rang alarm bells as I began to feel like a statue, trying to break me out of it but with no such luck. The gruff voice called out again: "Spoon! where are you? I think there might be something in this tall building in the center of town! But I need you to open it up!"
The Hound grumbled to himself, and then shouted back to his friend, making me shrink into a quivering bundle of nerves "All right! I'm coming!". I bit my tongue to keep me from making a peep as I heard the Hound walk away and head further into town. I took a deep breath and swallow my heartbeat back down. That was too close, I had to get out of Ponyville and warn Angel. If there were more of those Dogs around Ponyville, then my animal friends could be in danger.
I peeked out around the corner of the wall I was hiding behind, making sure the coast was clear, and then took off running - forgetting about my injured leg and the soreness of it. I unfurled my wings in a hurry as I galloped down the road, and leapt into the air, quickly flying away from Ponyville, and to my cottage on the edge of the Everfree Forest.
Survivor Shy Gallery (All artwork, including 'non-canon' scenes): [link]
Survivor Shy on FimFiction (Chapter Two coming very soon!): [link]
My Tumblr (WIPs, doodles, etc): [link]
This is the last image I needed to do before being ready to write and release Chapter Two of Survivor Shy on FimFiction.
I'm very pleased with how the artwork came out. It's been a long time since I attempted this style, and I'm glad it looks nice.
Some of you may have noticed that this scene half shares a title with an older scene in the Gallery. This new scene essentially replaces and expands the old one, which a lot of the recent scenes have been doing as part of the fic's overhaul. The differences in the text shouldn't be too great, this new version shall of course be much more refined and detailed, but the purpose was mainly to update and improve the artwork for quality consistency.
As always, leave your comments! I enjoy reading comments and discussing things with others, I tend to type pretty long and comprehensive answers if they won't give away any spoilers for the fanfic