It was a misty and cold morning, and I woke up underneath the tree shivering from being damp and cold. I still felt exhausted and numb from the travelling I had done in the past week, and from the horrible night I spent underneath a tree in a rainstorm. This weather didn't fit the Season, Autumn was still a few weeks away, but the sky was starting to flow free without ponies managing it. Dread began to linger over me again, with haunting whispers in the back of my mind telling me my greatest fears at that moment - that there was nopony out there, that I was the only pony in Equestria.
I closed my eyes and tried to block the thoughts off. "No." I croaked, "My friends are waiting for me, I need to find them." I opened my eyes and stared off into the misty woods, repeating a phrase that I was beginning to reassure myself with often; "Everything will be okay."
I turned my attention to my bandaged foreleg to avoid letting my mind wander, and started unwrapping the cloth to check the wound underneath. Fortunately, the cut had closed itself and was starting to heal. There wasn't any sign of infection, which I was very thankful for, and the cut didn't seem likely to open again if I was careful. I couldn't risk falling ill out here, not without any safe place to rest and recover, nor enough food and water. The injury still worried me as it was, and I muttered to myself to take things a little more carefully and keep checking my leg every few hours.
I unfurled my wings and gave them a test flap, and then lifted myself above the treetops for a better view. The mist was still too thick to really make much of anything out except for looming shapes around me. Flying would be too risky with this visibility; Rainbow Dash wouldn't agree, but she was used to flying in almost all kinds of weather. The thought of moving a storm front, just one of the tasks of a weatherpony, were making my wings start to fall out of sync out of fear.
I descended back to the forest floor, and gathered my belongings up. I was going to follow the tracks again. I knew I was getting close, but I still didn't know exactly where I was, and I didn't want to get lost in the woods. I hovered above the ground to give my leg more time to rest, and started flying back to the train tracks, soon heading along them - hoping to reach Ponyville soon.
A few hours passed while I flew in silence, focusing my eyes into the distance to try to spot a landmark in the slowly-clearing mist. Finally, just as I came over the crest of a hill, my eyes caught sight of a ghostly silhouette in the distance, beyond the forest's tree line. I veered away from the train tracks and glided to a clearing on the edge of the woods, gently landing on three legs with a bit of a stumble, and peered off into the horizon. Slowly, as the Sun rose higher in the grey skies and warmed the world underneath, the mist began to fade, revealing the unmistakable outline of Ponyville's City Hall.
A few minutes passed as I waited for the low-laying clouds to clear some more, revealing more of the town I called home. I could see skeletal remains of burned-down homes and damaged thatched roofs, and faint wisps of smoke from the dying fires that had been feeding on Ponyville for the past week. Whatever had happened in Ponyville, the place had suffered for it, and I hoped that nopony was hurt in the midst of it all. 'If there was anypony left at all.'
"No!" I snapped at myself, voice uneven "I am not alone! Everypony is just taking shelter somewhere!" I knew I wasn't believing a word I was saying, but a part of me wanted to believe anything that was better than looking at what was becoming more and more apparent to be the truth. Imagining thousands of ponies in something as ludicrous as underground shelters was a more positive image in my head than imagining thousands of ponies being harmed.
I lifted myself back into the air, and started to fly towards Ponyville. I wanted to search the town for anypony in need of help, and then go to my cottage to pick up some things I could use, and to check on Angel and my animal friends. Goodness knows how afraid they must have been after what happened, and I knew Angel would be happy to see me again, safe and sound, too.
My eyes drifted up to the distant outline of Canterlot and lingered there, trying to see it better through the mist. "I'll be there soon, everypony," I whispered, "'I'm sorry I'm taking so long."
This will probably need revisions and further proof-reading. I wrote this while nodding off at my desk at 12:30 AM. Even the cat is asleep (he made me take an extra hour drawing the picture, because he kept attacking my screen and sitting on my tablet).
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]
So here we are finally, a new scene!
I decided that I should try to 'paint' as much of it as possible. There's only so many pictures I can draw that look all clean and tidy (by my standards) before I begin to feel like it is all getting stale and too easy. So with this, I went ahead and put everything together like I normally do, with flats and everything, and then, instead of whacking on a Multiply layer of something similar, I merged things and started shading directly with a few brushes, eventually getting something much softer in appearance. I learned quite a lot from this, and it definitely helped me improve my technique.
Now, the story itself. Yes, older scenes in the Survivor Shy Gallery are becoming 'non-canon'. This is because the artwork in them is so bad in my opinion that I must redraw the scenes from scratch. And whilst I'm doing that, I'm taking the new scenes as an opportunity to rewrite the story excerpts in these new scenes.
The scene "Like Needles" and this one are both replacement scenes for the first ever Survivor Shy scene, "Look For A Purpose". While the artwork is completely different, I'm hoping that the general feel and tone of the story excerpts have been carried over quite well in these latest revisions. I don't like having to retcon things, I'd much rather rework what I have so nothing established is rendered void.
Anyway, I only have one more picture to redo and I'll be ready to get Chapter Two put together! Maybe I'll get Chapter Three done before Xmas!