Disclaimer: I do not own Furcadia. I've just been on it for a few years now. Nor do I own the song "This Used to be my Playground". That belongs to Madonna.

Once Upon…

She sits at the fire, staring blankly in the flames. All around her she can hear the birds chirping, but that all paled in comparison to the pain of her heart. It was a bitter truth, one she still couldn't readily face. Things were changing and she was being left behind.

This used to be my playground [used to be]
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say

She slowly stands to her feet, the brown cloak she wears falling gently to settle around her form. She walks slowly back to the entrance to this place, her feet making no noise despite the fact they seem to drag. She walks up the stairs, her green eyes glancing around from under the hood of the cloak watching everything that's going on. Coming out at the top of the stairs, she finds herself in the Vinca, the place to go to get to other places. She stands at the top of the stairs for a moment, just gazing around.

Don't look back
Keep your head held high
Don't ask them why
Because life is short
And before you know
You're feeling old
And your heart is breaking
Don't hold on to the past
Well that's too much to ask

All around her she could hear the various chirps and conversations of others. Ones who had friends, or had just randomly started talking to someone. She was too shy, always had been. One main reason she had chosen to wear the cloak; to keep others out. She starts walking again, making sure to avoid the more intimidating creatures around her, mostly the dragons and full bodied wolves. She'd like not to get on the bad side of anyone at this current moment. An echidna in a canine body, she was very out of place, and as the years had gone on, it only got worse.

This used to be my playground [used to be]
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say

She finally reaches another set of stairs and heads down them, keeping as close to the wall as possible. She's quick to get down the stairs, hating to be enclosed like this. As soon as she emerges in the hall, she heads to a corner, drawing a deep breath. She turns around, gazing out across the white hall. Now in a place called Allegria Island, this is the place that saddens her the most. A place for others like her to make their dreams real and tangible. Small portals lead the way to these dreams and in an instant, you were in another place. Sometimes even in another body, not your own. Years ago, there were only a few scattered dreams, only a few of them put up with enough detail and design to keep others interested. Now…Now it was a mad house…

Live and learn
Well the years they flew
And we never knew
We were foolish then
We would never tire
And that little fire
Is still alive in me
It will never go away
Can't say goodbye to yesterday [can't say goodbye]

You could barely walk down the main paths out of the hall without running into one of these dreams. And if you decided to stray off of the path, best luck to you. She couldn't believe how crowded it had gotten in recently years. She figures she should have known it would get like this eventually. But a creature of solitude by nature, this was very overwhelming for her.

This used to be my playground [used to be]
This used to be my childhood dream
This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need
Of a friend
Why did it have to end
And why do they always say

She sighs softly, slowly standing from her place in the corner of the hall. It would do her no good to stay here. Taking a detour on the way back to the stairs, she heads outside the hall and stands next to a spot that now stands empty on the grass. Another sigh escapes her lips, shaking her head a little. A dream, called the Celtic Crystal City, once stood here. A home for her in a place that was changing to quickly for her to follow, she had become a healer there. Until the dreamer vanished and along with it, their dream. Now she was alone again.

No regrets
But I wish that you
Were here with me
Well then there's hope yet
I can see your face
In our secret place
You're not just a memory
Say goodbye to yesterday [the dream]
Those are words I'll never say [I'll never say]

She turns and heads to the stairs, going back up them quickly and once again coming out at the Vinca. Despite the many places here, she was only usually seen in three. Allegria, Vinca, and the place where she had been previously with the fire, Challenges. She heads back there, rubbing her paw over her muzzle as she heads down the stairs once more. She had no friends, no loved ones. She honestly didn't see why she stayed anymore. Hitting the bottom of the stairs, she heads off across the grass, avoiding everyone's gaze as she heads to the very back of Challenges.

This used to be my playground [used to be]
This used to be our pride and joy
This used to be the place we ran to
That no one in the world could dare destroy

Coming to the fire she suddenly stops short in surprise, seeing a cheetah cub laying on one of the cushions around the fire. To be truthful, she had seen the cub a few times during her wanderings and was always surprised no one had adopted the young one to protect her. She approaches slowly, not wanting to startle her and just as she settles on a nearby cushion, the cheetah jerks her head up with alarmed golden eyes.

"I'm not here to hurt you young one…" She speaks softly, not wanting to scare the cheetah.

She had once been a mother, and knew how to be soothing despite her warrior background. The cub gazes at her with wide and alarmed eyes, before tilting her head to the side.

"What's your name…?" The cub asks a very child-like tone in her voice.

"Dream…" The canine answers, smiling softly under her hood.

"And yours?" She asks back.

"Cheet…" The cub answers shyly.

This used to be our playground [used to be]
This used to be our childhood dream
This used to be the place we ran to
The best things in life are always free
Wishing you were here with me

Quickly over her initial shyness around the canine, she finds the cub to be friendly, if a little distant with her. Not surprising honestly. Dream manages a faint smile as she talks with the cub, realizing she may have a reason to stay here after all.