Chapter 15: The Christmas Tree (Special Story)

Star Cluster was sound asleep on the couch when Peaches suddenly started calling his name and shaking him with her small hooves.
"Star Cluster, wake up!"
Star Cluster slowly opened his eyes and saw Peaches in front of his face.
"We are going to town!" Peaches yelled excitedly.
Star Cluster sat up on the couch, yawning and rubbing his face with his hooves. The fire from the fireplace kept most of the house warm. He stood up from the couch and followed Peaches into the kitchen. Amaryllis turned from the table, "It's time for breakfast."
"Peaches tells me we are going to town," Star Cluster tiredly said.
Amaryllis walked to the kitchen counter and picked up a small can of syrup, "Yes, tomorrow will be Christmas eve and I thought we should go and do some shopping. The ponies in town really decorate the town this time of year," Amaryllis walked to the table and paused as if she forgot something, "You do know what Christmas is don't you?"
Star Cluster looked at her with a tired face, "Yes I do. We have..." Star Cluster suddenly paused.
"We" Amaryllis asked surprisingly, "Who is we?"
"I...I don't know. I just said it without thinking," Star Cluster replied. He sat at the table thinking about what he just said. Who was we? What was he going to say? He continued to try and remember his past as Amaryllis talked. He stared at his plate as he eat, not really listening to Amaryllis.
"Star Cluster," Amaryllis called to him.
Star Cluster looked up at her, "I'm sorry. I guess I had other things on my mind."
"I was just saying that the snow had stopped. I want to get back home before it starts snowing again," Amaryllis told him.
"Ok," Star Cluster replied. He ate quickly as she tried to remember his past but he still couldn't think of anything.

After breakfast, Amaryllis put a pink set of ear muffs over Peaches ear, then she put a white cloak on her back.
"Ready?" Amaryllis asked.
"I am!" Peaches cried excitedly.
"Lets go," Star Cluster replied.
They walked out the door while Peaches ran through the snow.
"Peaches!" Amaryllis yelled.
Peaches turned and ran back to her mother.
"You stay with me and don't go running off," Amaryllis told her.
Peaches sighed sadly.
They continued walking through the snow following the path through the forest. Peaches stayed close as she jumped around in the snow. They walked around the snow covered trees and pine trees as they listened to the snow falling from branches.
When it got knee deep in some spots, Star Cluster carried Peaches on his back.

When they reached the snow covered road, Star Cluster bent down letting Peaches off his back. Then the three of them continued towards town. When they arrived in town, Star Cluster looked at all the stores with had colored lights and garlands strung around the windows. large red bows tied to lamp posts with red and white ribbon wrapping around it. In each window were candles and strung across the street from each building was a green garlands with a wreath in the middle.
There were more ponies in town than he remembered seeing. Ponies walked on the sidewalk, some crossed the street. Peaches stayed close to her mother as ponies walked past her. They walked around the corner and to Star Cluster's surprise there was a large tree in the middle of town.
"Pretty, isn't it?" Amaryllis asked him as they walked.
"Yes it is," Star Cluster replied.
"Mommy!" Peaches cried.
Amaryllis turned and saw Peaches at the doorway of a nearby story.
"Lookie!" Peaches cried, "Can we go look?"
Amaryllis walked over to Peaches and looked in the store.
"Sure," Amaryllis replied.
Peaches smiled greatly and hurried inside.
"Star Cluster, are you coming?" Amaryllis asked.
"I'm just going to look at this tree for a while," Star Cluster replied and then he left.
"Ok, I'll see you in a little bit," Amaryllis replied hurrying inside after Peaches.
Star Cluster walked to the tree joining a group of other ponies who just smiled and stared at it. The tree was cover in lights, ornaments and sparkling garlands.
"Just wait till tonight, it'll be lit up," Star Cluster heard someone say.
As he stared at the large tree he couldn't help but feel he had seen a tree like it before. The large ornaments especially looked familiar. Suddenly an image flash before his eyes as if he was dreaming. He was a little pony and had sat before a very large tree, covered in lights, garlands and large fancy ornaments. The skirt around the base of the tree was white and gold, at the top of the tree was a golden star.
"Star Cluster," he faintly heard a voice.
He turned towards a set of double doors and saw a figure at the doorway calling his name.
"Star Cluster!" Amaryllis called again.
Star Cluster blinks and then turned to find her stand next to him.
"I'm sorry, were you remembering something?" Amaryllis asked feeling bad that she interrupted his thoughts.
"Yes I was," Star Cluster replied, wishing he wasn't interrupted, "It was Christmas and I was little like Peaches and was sitting in front of a tree just like this one only...prettier. Someone at a door was calling for me but I don't know who it was."
Amaryllis looked at him sadly, "I'm so sorry. I interrupted an important memory." She leaned her head against his neck look at the snow.
Star Cluster smiled, "It's alright. I'm sure it'll come back to me."
"The tree must have been pretty though."
"Yes, it was very pretty," Star Cluster replied.
"Mommy, Christmas trees!" Peaches cried excitedly.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Amaryllis lifted her head and looked at Star Cluster, "It has been a while since we got a Christmas tree and I thought this year we'd get one if you don't mind helping me carry it home."
"Of corse I don't mind. Lets go check those trees out," Star Custer exclaimed.
Peaches ran across the street to a small area filled with pine trees. Some trees stood in rows, some were tired laying down. By the time Star Cluster and Amaryllis reached the tree lot, Peaches was roaming around the lot.
"She gets very excited this time of year," Amaryllis muttered.
"It's alright, what little pony wouldn't be?" Star Cluster replied.
They searched through every tree till Amaryllis called for Star Cluster. He hurried towards her voice and found her standing in front of a tree no bigger than him. It wasn't a full tree, there were so few branches that he could see the bark in the center.
"Well?" Amaryllis asked, not knowing Peaches was a few trees away coming towards her.
"She's skinny," Star Cluster replied.
Peaches suddenly stopped behind a tree listening.
"She's not at all that pretty and she's just to small. I simply don't like her," Star Custer replied.
Peaches let a few tear drop from her cheeks, then she turned and ran.
"I know but it's easier to take home," Amaryllis replied.
"She's just don't look right for a Christmas tree. Let me show you a tree I found, She's much fuller and...well you just got to see her," Star Cluster replied.
"Her?" Amaryllis asked.
"Oh, did I say her?" Star Cluster replied, "I guess I used to call Christmas tree that."
Amaryllis laughed, "Lets go see this..girl you saw."
Star Cluster smiled and lead the way. Four trees away was a larger tree, it was so full you couldn't see through it.
"What do you think?" Star Cluster asked her.
"it's pretty but can we carry it home?" Amaryllis asked.
"We can manage," Star Cluster replied.
"I got some Christmas shopping to do for a Christmas dinner. I'll go ask if he can hold it for us," Amaryllis told him. She left Star Cluster and returned with a white pony with purple hair with a streak of pink in his tail, his eye was pink too. Star Cluster stared the purple haired pony as if he had seen a pony just like him, someone he had once knew.
"This tree?" he asked.
"Yes, can you hold it for me?" Amaryllis asked him.
"Sure, I'll be happy too. It's great to see you getting a Christmas tree again Amaryllis."
"You know him?" Star Cluster asked.
"I know everyone in town. This is Quilt. He takes care of the decoration in town," Amaryllis introduced him, "Quilt this is Star Cluster."
"Hello," Quilt replied.
"Hi," Star cluster replied not sure what else to say to him.
"Quilt, have you seen Peaches?" Amaryllis asked.
"No I'm sorry. I was to busy to notice anyone leaving the lot."
"thanks," Amaryllis looked at Star Cluster, "She's got to be around here somewhere."
"Lets split up," Star Cluster proposed.
Amaryllis agreed and the two went separate directions, searching through the row of trees. Star Cluster was about to turn and find Amaryllis when he noticed a few little ponies at the exit. He approached them, "excise me but have you seen Peaches?"
"Yes, she ran out of here crying," one of them replied.
"Is she not getting a tree this year?" the other asked.
"Of corse she is. Thank you two," He turned and walked through more rows looking for Amaryllis. He soon found her walking slowly calling for Peaches.
"Amaryllis, she's not here."
Amaryllis stopped and looked at him, "I didn't think she was since everyone I asked hadn't seen her."
"A couple of little ponies by the exit told me she ran out of here crying," Star Cluster replied.
"Crying?" Amaryllis asked worriedly, "Why would she be crying?"
"I don't know but we have better find her soon," Star Cluster replied.
They turned and left the lot by the exit, asking every pony they saw but no one had seen her. Star Cluster pointed to a group of little ponies playing and alley, throwing snowballs at each other. Star Cluster and Amaryllis walked into the alley and was immediately hit in the face by snowballs.
"We're so sorry!" cried a boy.
Star Cluster and Amaryllis whipped the snow from their faces.
"It's alright. We want to know if you seen Peaches?" Star Cluster asked.
"Yes, she ran past us, crying," another boy replied.
"Why was she crying?" Amaryllis asked them.
"We asked but she ignored us."
"Where was she going?" Star Cluster asked.
"Towards the forest," another boy answered.
"What!?" Amaryllis asked worriedly, "She'll get lost or worse a wolf could find her or she could fall in a snow bank or....Star Cluster we got to find her!"
"Thank you boys," Star Cluster replied and turned from the alley walking back to the side walk.
"We got to ask for help. That forest is large, the two of us could never find her before dark," Star Cluster replied.
As they stood three female ponies walked up to them.
"Amaryllis what's wrong?'s almost Christmas, it's a joyful time of the year," a yellow pony remark.
"My daughter...," Amaryllis sobbed not able to finish what she was going to say.
"Peaches ran out of town. She went into the forest. We can't search for her alone, we need some help to find her."
"Oh, my. Anything could happen to her in that forest," the yellow pony exclaimed.
"I'll ask my husband for help," the pink pony replied.
"So will I," the red pony replied.
"Me too," the yellow pony replied, "Amaryllis, wait right here."
Amaryllis stood with her head under Star Cluster's chin crying as she waited.
"We'll find her, just wait and see," Star Cluster whispered to her.
Slowly a group of ponies began to surround Star Cluster and Amaryllis, most were male ponies.
"We heard your daughter was missing," a male pink pony said.
"Yes," Amaryllis muttered.
"She ran into the forest and we help to find her," Star Cluster replied.
"We can split in groups," a dark red pony suggested, "lets have five to each group. The first one that finds her must contact the other groups."
"I got some walkie talkies for each group," a yellow male pony quickly said.
The ponies soon split up in groups with Star Cluster and Amaryllis in one group.

The three groups split up in different parts of the forest calling for Peaches. Amaryllis cried worriedly, Star Cluster stayed by her side as he searched with three of ponies in his group. They walked around the thick forest looking behind snow covered hills, fallen logs and bushes.
"I can't loose her too," Amaryllis muttered, "I lost her father and now..."
"Amaryllis, it'll be alright. She'll be ok, she's just lost in the forest. She did grow up in the forest after all," Star Cluster pointed out.
"I know," Amaryllis replied.
"Amaryllis, why don't you help search. look in a cave or behind a rock. Crying won't help, doing something will," Star Cluster remarked.
"Your right," Amaryllis replied trying her best to smile. She left Star Cluster's side and began calling for Peaches.
Just then an orange pony with light blue, white and purple hair approached him, "I don't believe I have seen you around before. Might I ask who you are?"
"My name is Star Cluster."
The orange pony looked at his snow covered hairy feet, "And where are you from?"
"I don't know. I have amnesia so I'm staying with Amaryllis till my memories return. All I know is my name," Star Cluster looked at the pony, "And who are you?"
"My name is Brightly. I own a grocery store in town. It's great to see Amaryllis celebrating Christmas again."
"What do you mean?' Star Cluster asked.
"Didn't she tell you about her husband?" Brightly asked.
"Yes she did. He slipped off a mountain," Star Cluster replied.
"But did she tell you it was about this time of year when it happened?" Brightly asked, "She hasn't really been into Christmas since then."
"Oh," Star Cluster replied looking sadly at Amaryllis.
they walked far from town and were ready to give up when Star Cluster heard a voice on a Walkie Talk that hung around the light yellow pony's neck.
"Ok, we're coming," the light yellow pony replied. He turned to the others, "Someone found her. She's not far from here."
The group ran fallowing the light yellow pony through the deep snow.

Amaryllis was close behind the yellow anxious to see her daughter. Star Cluster braced himself, not knowing where she was found or if she's ok. He suddenly realized he too was very worried about her as if she was his own daughter. He wondered if he ever got his memories back, would he be able to leave Amaryllis and Peaches? They ran through the forest and into a clearing. It was then That he saw the other two group of ponies standing at the base of the tall rocky cliff.
Amaryllis gasped when she saw Peaches on a cliff. It looked as if she had fallen and landed on a small cliff.
"Amaryllis, a wolf was chasing her and cornered her the edge of the cliff. She slipped and fell. She said she's alright but if she don't get off the cliff it'll fall beneath her," Quilt quickly replied.
"Peaches!" Amaryllis called.
She waited anxiously for a reply.
"Mommy!" Peaches cried, "I'm scared!"
"Don't move," Amaryllis told her.
Star Cluster could hear Peaches sobbing. He was relieved that she was unharmed.
"We got a few ponies going around the cliff with a rope. We're going to try and get a rope down to her," Quilt told her.
Star Cluster watched worriedly as tinny rocks slowly crumbled from the cliff. It felt like hours had went by but he only waited ten minutes before he saw the two male ponies. They stood at the edge of the cliff and threw a rope over the edge.
"Peaches, try to grab the rope!" one of the male ponies yelled.
Peaches didn't move, she was to scared, afraid she would fall.
"Peaches," Amaryllis called to her, "Reach for the rope!"
"I can't mommy. I'm scared!"
"Peaches is scared of heights," Amaryllis told Quilt.
"That could be a problem," Quilt replied.
Just then Star Cluster got an idea, he was sure it could work. He looked along the wall for another cliff and saw one not to far from Peaches, "Hay you two. Is that cliff flat?" Star Cluster pointed.
"Yes, it is!"
"Star Cluster what are you going to do?" Amaryllis asked.
"I'm going to jump up there and get her," Star Cluster flatly answered.
"What do you mean jump?" a pink pony asked, "no one can jump that high."
Star Cluster ignored the pony and walked to the wall. He lowered himself to the snowy ground, then he jumped high from the ground, shocking everyone that saw him. He landed softly on the cliff and turned to find Peaches laying down crying.
"Peaches!" Star Cluster called to her.
Peaches looked up and was surprised to see him across from her.
"I want you to hug the wall. Once I land next to you, I want you to climb on my back," Star Cluster yelled.
"I can't, I'm scared," Peaches replied.
"Yes you can. You won't fall. Hug the wall and you'll be me," Star Cluster replied.
Peaches reluctantly did as she was told. She slowly stood on her shaky legs hugging the wall with her body.
Star Cluster lowered himself to the ground and jumped to her cliff. As soon as he landed the cliff began to shake, letting larger rocks fall.
"Get on, quickly!" Star Cluster told her as he bent down. Peaches climbed on his back and held his mane tightly.
"Hold on, don't let go," Star Cluster told her. Without thinking about what he was going to do, he jumped from the cliff, then he stretched his legs out. He fell through the air while Amaryllis watched fearfully. Star Cluster landed softly on the snowy ground that reached to his knees. He walked out of the deep snow and joined the group. Amaryllis ran to Star Cluster, "Peaches!"
Peached looked up and saw her mother.
"Mommy!" Peaches smiled.
Amaryllis picked up Peached and hugged her tightly, "Oh, Peaches don't ever run away again. You're all I have."
"Why did you run away?" Star Cluster asked curiously.
Peaches looked at him and began to cry, "You said I was to small, skinny and you didn't like me."
To her surprise, he laughed, "Peaches, I wasn't talking about you, I was talking about the Christmas tree your mother picked out. It was no bigger than me and it was so...bare you could see the bark. It wasn't the kind of Christmas tree I had in mind."
"But you said she," Peached replied.
"I'm sorry about that. I said it without realizing it. I suppose I always called Christmas trees, she," Star Cluster replied.
"So you like me?" Peaches asked who had started drying her tears.
"Yes, I do. You're my favorite little pony," Star Cluster replied.
Peaches smiled greatly.
"Umm...How did you do that?" Quilt asked still shocked.
"Do what?" Star Cluster asked.
"Jump so high like that and land without braking a bone."
"I discovered I could jump like that during the summer," Star Cluster turned and looked at the cliff that used to be there, "I didn't know I could land. I guess I did it naturally."
"Star Cluster, you must have done that often in order to jump and land without thinking about it," Amaryllis pointed out as she put Peaches on the ground.
"I guess so," Star Cluster replied.
"And you don't know where your from?" Brightly asked.
"You don't?" another pony asked.
"I have no memory of who I am or where I'm from or if I even have a family. All I know is my name," Star Cluster replied.
Just then it began to snow and with in minutes the snow came down heavily.
"We got to get home," Amaryllis exclaimed.
"But mommy, what about the tree?" Peaches asked sitting at her feet.
"I'm sorry Peaches, there's no time to get one now. The snow will be to deep to do any traveling for awhile, not till sometime after Christmas," Amaryllis replied.
"No Christmas tree?" Peaches asked as she started to cry.
Amaryllis lowered her head and rubbed her cheek, "There's always next year."
"I'm sorry, mommy," Peaches sobbed, trying to wipe the tears away.
"Put her on my back. I'll carry her home," Star Cluster told Amaryllis. He looked at the group of still surprised ponies, "Thank you all for helping us search."
"Yes, thank you so much. I would have lost Peaches if you guys hadn't found her," Amaryllis exclaimed as she set Peaches on his back.
"But what are you going to celebrate with?" a pony asked.
"I got Peaches," Amaryllis smiled at Star Cluster, "Merry Christmas." Then she began walking with Star Cluster at her side. Peaches laid on his back burring her face in his mane as she cried.
The group of ponies stood watching as they disappeared in the thick falling snow.
"He's not a normal pony, that's for sure," one of them suddenly said.

The next morning, Amaryllis slept soundly on the other couch across from where Star Cluster slept. She was in a deep sleep when she felt someone shaking her.
"Mommy!" Peaches cried.
Amaryllis opened her eyes to find Peaches crying.
"What is it, Peaches?" Amaryllis whispered tiredly.
"Mommy, he's gone!" Peaches exclaimed.
Amaryllis immediately sat up and looked around the room but there was no sign of him.
"Are you sure?" Amaryllis asked.
"Yes, he's not here," Peaches replied.
Amaryllis stood up from the couch and walked to her room and then to Peaches room but he wasn't there. She turned and walked to the kitchen but he wasn't there. She was so worried about him that the cold room didn't bother her. She opened the door and saw hoof tracks in the snow.
"Mommy," Peaches called to her, "Is he coming back?"
"I...I sure hope so," Amaryllis replied unsure if he'll ever come back.
She shut the door and stared out the window over her sink. She continued to hope for his return. She stared at the other side of the forest edge hoping to see him walk out of the forest. half the day went by when she felt Peaches tugging at her tail, "Mommy!"
Amaryllis turned and looked at her.
"I'm hungry," Peaches replied.
"I'm sorry Peaches. I forgot to make breakfast," Amaryllis replied.
She turned and went to the cupboards and took out two jars. Then she took the bread from on top of the counter and began making Peaches and herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When she was done, she handed Peaches a sandwich while she ate the other. Amaryllis stared out the window as she ate. Peaches sat at her feat eating the sandwich.
Amaryllis was soon beginning to think he had left and was never coming back. Just as she was about to give up and turn from the window, she suddenly noticed something dark moving at the edge of the forest. She stood staring not daring to blink. When Star Cluster walked out of the forest, Amaryllis smiled greatly, "Peaches!"
She turned to find Peaches on the couch wrapped in Star Cluster's blanket.
"Peaches, He's here!" Amaryllis yelled excitedly.
Peaches threw the blanket off and climbed off the couch. Then she ran through the kitchen and out the door with her mother only she couldn't go very far. The snow was too deep for her but her mother continued running.
"Amaryllis, what's wrong?" Star Cluster asked once she was close.
Amaryllis ran up to him and knocked him to the ground as she hugged him.
"What's wrong?" Star Cluster asked again when he noticed her crying.
"I thought you were never coming back," Amaryllis replied.
Star Cluster sat up as Amaryllis got off of him, "Didn't you see the note I left you?"
"What note?" Amaryllis asked whipping her tears away.
"I left it above the fireplace. I was hoping you'd see it when you started the fire."
"I'm sorry star Cluster, I was so worried that I hadn't bothered with the fireplace," Amaryllis replied as she blushed. She felt so embarrassed for worrying all day over nothing.
Star Cluster stood up and smiled at her, "I thought I'd go back to town and get that tree I saw and do a little bit of shopping."
Amaryllis stood up noticing the four ponies that was with him. Two of them was tied to the tree dragging it behind them, the other two were carrying large bags on their back.
"Food?" Amaryllis asked, "Isn't that a bit much Star Cluster?"
"Well Quilt wanted to help me carry the tree home and his friend came along to help. Brightly was nice enough to give me anything I asked for in his store. He also had his son come along to help. I'm sorry I'm late. I didn't plan to be gone so long," Star Cluster explained.
"Why didn't you get me up this morning?" Amaryllis asked.
"It took all night to get Peaches to stop crying and go to sleep. You looked so worn out I thought you needed the sleep, so I left you a note and I hurried to town," Star Cluster replied.
"But the snow, it's very deep in some places, to dangerous to be walking," Amaryllis replied.
"Tell me about it, I fell in a deep part and it came up to my neck," Quilt replied.
"Well I jump most of the way to town so it wasn't a problem for me," Star Cluster replied.
"Amaryllis if you don't mind, we'll go ahead and set the tree up for you," one of the ponies remarked.
"Oh, sure. Please do and thank you," She turned towards Brightly, "That's to much food. I don't have room for all that."
"We know. We were hoping we could join you for a Christmas eve party," Brightly replied.
Amaryllis smiled greatly, "Really?...a Party?"
"Yes, now we got to hurry and get the party ready before night fall," bright quickly said and continued walking towards the house.
Amaryllis leaned her head again Star Cluster's neck and began nuzzling him, Please don't ever leave me."
Star Cluster had forgotten all about leaving when his memory returns. he knew he would have to see his family if he had one but what would he do about Amaryllis?
"Lets not think about it now. It's Christmas Eve," Star Cluster told her.
Amaryllis looked at Star Cluster's bright green eye almost losing herself in them. they leaned close together and kissed each other on the lips, forgetting everything that had happened. After several minute they let go, Amaryllis rubbed her head against Star Cluster's shoulder with her eyes closed.
"Lets go inside," Star Cluster told her.
Amaryllis stood back and smiled at him.
"We have a party to get to," Star Cluster added.
They turned and began walking when Star Cluster suddenly slipped on a snow covered rock and went face down. Amaryllis turned gasped, when Star Cluster lifted his head from the snow, all you could see were his ears and eyes. Amaryllis began the laugh as Star Cluster glared at her. She laughed so hard she didn't see what Star Cluster was doing. He scooped up a hoof full of snow and smiled, "Oh Amaryllis!"
When she looked at his, he threw the snow at her face. Then she scooped up snow in her hoof and threw it at Star Cluster.

Quilt walked to the kitchen window and saw Amaryllis and Star Cluster playing in the snow.
"Where's mommy?" Peaches asked standing at his feet.
"She's playing," Quilt answered.
"I want to go out and play," Peaches replied.
"You can't, you got to help up decorate the tree," Quilt told her.
Peaches smiled and ran into the living room.
Brightly soon joined him at the window, "I wonder if he's going to stick around?"
"I hope so," Quilt replied.
The two turned from the window and joined Peaches in the livingroom while Amaryllis and Star Cluster spent sometime outside playing.