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May 30, 2013
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An orange glow cast a pair of shadows across the floor of the library. Twilight's horn kept a small fire alive in the fireplace, providing the only warmth she'd known for far too long. Her magic was faltering, however.

Spike put his hand on the unicorn's shoulder. She sighed heavily, then released the spell. The blaze calmed quickly to a few embers. Spike picked up a large, dusty tome, and placed its corner in the cinders, lighting the dry pages slowly.

Spike quietly stoked the tiny fire. It was the same routine that had played out over and over. Every day, every week. The two once shared words whenever this scene played out, something along the lines of ‘I’ll take over’ and ‘You need to save your strength’, but it had been a long time since they had spoken. Not out of animosity, but out of apathy. Twilight’s eyes seemed to glaze over, as she once again retreated into her mind.

Every day, she asked herself how this happened, and every day an echo in her mind reminded her she had absolutely no idea. The routine was all she knew now, as vague memories from her past danced by in a haze.

This was their life now. As far as they were concerned it always had been. Huddled beside a fire that was always just a blink of an eye from going out, surviving on rations and the dull glimmer of hope somewhere deep down inside; A glimmer that shone just a little duller every day. Memories had long faded away. Twilight swore she was forgetting everything she had ever known, but that feeling was just something silly, something pointless. Her memorable existence has been in front of this fireplace, and it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

Twilight blinked a few times. She looked beside her to find a small, brown box. Inside the box was the food she and Spike would need to survive just that little bit longer. She ate a small piece of an apple. Where the box had come from, she didn’t know. Every time something appeared beside her, she never saw who had put it there, nor even heard them do it.. She questioned how, but her mental energy was so weak that these thoughts only flashed before escaping into the void.

Twilight watched Spike’s green fire dance before her eyes. She felt something start to well inside her. A familiarity she hadn’t felt for ages. She breathed in, and like a flash, a small memory found it’s way through that mental haze.

-----

“...And I learned that a party can still be a party without hordes of ponies. The only ponies needed are a few good friends.” A pink pony nodded her head at the end of her sentence, as if to confirm her words. Around her, several other mares stood. Twilight strained her thought, trying to recognize them. They seemed so familiar, but no names came to her. Spike worked quickly, writing whatever she said on the parchment in his hands.

“Aww...” The mares all around Twilight all nuzzled the pony, while Spike made a gagging motion.

“Could you guys lay off of the sappiness? You’re giving me a toothache.” The dragon said.

“Love, Pinkie Pie.” Pinkie finished. Spike signed Pinkie’s name to the bottom and rolled up the letter.

‘Pinkie Pie. That was her name’ Twilight felt the memory take it’s place in her head, one of the strangers in the room now identified once more.

“It’s been a while since I’ve had to mail anything out. You guys aren’t learning much about friendship anymore.” Spike teased.

Twilight giggled. “Well, after I got these,” She flared her wings. “We haven’t been hanging out as much. But I’m going to fix that.”

Spike’s green fire enveloped the letter, and the smoke traveled out the window, toward the large castle that could just barely been seen off in the distance. A few seconds later, Spike belched, and a flaming scroll unrolled itself before Twilight. “Well that was fast.” Twilight levitated the scroll. “Usually Princess Celestia doesn’t send anything back for at least a couple of hours.” Twilight began reading the scroll.

‘Dear Sender

Sorry I am unable to respond to your message at this time. Your scroll has been catalogued and I will read it as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.

Princess Celestia’

“That’s odd.” Twilight looked at the blank back of the scroll, expecting more. “Celestia usually doesn’t send these out unless she’s completely out of range of the castle.”

“Maybe she’s on a business trip or something. It’s nothing to worry about, I’m sure.” The white unicorn beside her spoke regally. Twilight railed against her mind to try to remember the name, but she couldn’t do it.

“True... still, Celestia usually lets me know if she’s not going to be available so I can hold off on sending letters. It’s a bit odd that she’d leave me in the dark this time. I mean, I was talking to her just yesterday, and she didn’t mention anything about any business trip.”

“I’m sure it just slipped her mind, Twi.” A powder blue pegasus this time. The hair started to crack the mental block, but the only thing she could find was Rainbow. Twilight’s frustration subsided as the thought continued. “Now if you’ll excuse me, that party left me pretty whipped. I’m gonna go home and hit the hay. Night guys!” Rainbow flew out the window. The others said their goodbyes, then headed home as well.

“Don’t you worry too much, sugar. I’m sure Celestia is fine.” The orange mare put a reassuring hoof on her friend’s shoulder. Twilight smiled, both in the memory and out. ‘My... friend. These ponies were... my friends.’

“You’re right, Applejack. It’ll be fine. She’s probably just out and forgot to let me know. See you later.” The door shut softly behind Applejack.

-----

Twilight found herself staring at that door as the memory faded. It hadn’t been opened in so long. It couldn’t have been, or the intense cold outside would have overtaken the two residents of Ponyville’s library. A shiver went up her spine at the thought of the snow that was coming down outside. She wrapped her wings around herself involuntarily.

What had just happened? She wracked her brain, trying to find the correct answer, but nothing came to mind. ‘Memories.’ She realized. The thought stuck in her brain, glowing brightly. Notable memories were so infinitesimally rare at this point. When every day was the same, she had no real use for them.

She looked next to her at the box that had contained the pair’s food. At the bottom was a small book. Twilight wondered how she had missed that, but picked the book up.

‘Fireflies’ read the title, in a fancy, script-like font. The letters shimmered gold in the fire’s light. The cover looked to be two foals playing in a dark summer night. ‘By Sapphire Skies’ Twilight had read this book at one time. It was one of those foals books that killed a main character to earn the coveted Neighbery Medal. Judging by the sticker on the front cover, it had worked.

She opened the front cover and a small note fell out.

‘Thought you might like this. Not many books left. I used to really like this one.

~D.H.’

Twilight set the note back down. She wasn’t sure who D.H. was, but every once in a while she would receive a note from them when the food came. She rarely read the note, but the initials were always the first thing she saw on the package. Whenever she saw the initials she always felt like she had forgotten someone important. Her attention turned to the book. She wondered how many books D.H. had been giving her. This was the first one she noticed. How many had she burned simply out of ennui?

She sat so the book’s text was bathed in the fireplace’s glow. If she couldn’t remember D.H.’s name, at least she could read the recommendation. She skimmed it mostly. The two foals meet, they hang out, they grow up together, the usual shlock. She came to the last half of the book, where the best friend died.

“‘How did this happen!?’ Honey Comb shouted through the tears.”

The words rang in her mind. ‘How did this happen?’

She shut the book. Another memory came roaring into her mind.

-----

“Twilight, it’s going to be fine. Now’s not the time to panic-” The white unicorn started.

‘What was her name!? It was... it was...’

“Of course it’s time to panic, Rarity!” Twilight shouted, the rest of her friends attempting to calm her down. “Princess Celestia is missing!”

The group stood in the library, a note unrolled on the floor, and a palace guard at the door.

“How did this happen!?” Twilight shouted at the guard.

“I’ve told you everything the palace knows. Last week she just... vanished. Princess Luna as well. A messenger was sent for Princess Cadence, but she was also nowhere to be found. You are the only Princess left, Princess Twilight.“ The last sentence took a slightly suspicious tone.

“Hey, she didn’t do anything to them!” Rainbow Dash had caught the tone of the stallion’s voice, and got up in his face.

“Look, don’t you think it’s a bit odd that the Princesses just happened to disappear just a couple months after a new one is crowned? It’s suspicious if you ask me.”

“Yeah, well no one asked you!” Dash pushed the stallion out the door.

“Dash, please calm down.” A yellow pegasus begged.

“But they’re accusing Twilight of stuff she didn’t even do! Back me up, Twi!” She was met with silence. “Twi?” She looked over, but Twilight wouldn’t respond, reading the note over and over.

“They’re... gone... without a trace...” Twilight whispered. She tried to think of something, anything she might have done, but nothing came to mind. “I knew it... I knew I should have looked into it!” She suddenly shouted. She turned to them. ”Why did you stop me!? I could have been looking for them! And all you said was there’s nothing to worry about! You lied to me!” The others recoiled at her fury. “Why?” She shook, her fury turning to an intense sadness. “Why...” The group exchanged nervous glances, but gathered around the sobbing princess, doing everything in their power to comfort her.

-----

Twilight awoke, Spike still poking the fire, though a new book adorned the blaze. She rubbed her eyes, not realizing she had fallen asleep. She thought back to the ponies in her dream. ‘That yellow one... That’s Fluttershy.’ She felt a warmth overcome her. The dark thought took on a brighter tone. Her friends resided in her thoughts once more. Twilight finally took time to look around the house, a feat she hadn’t done for countless days.

In all of the corners, cobwebs coated every surface. Dust painted the room until it was almost white, like everything had a fine layer of snow covering it. The shelves were completely bare, all of the books stacked next to Spike. At one point the duo had moved them to save the precious little energy they had per day. The stairs were all torn from their places. The book burning had truly been a last resort. The duo had burned literally anything else they could that wouldn’t have caused problems before Twilight had relented to it. Nothing was left upstairs, in the kitchen, the basement, everything they owned was sitting next to them in those books. Twilight’s heart sank.

Next to her was the day’s food, and yet again, the package was much heavier. After removing the sparse morsels of fruit and vegetables, Twilight lifted out another book.

The Science of Magnetism by Voltaic Quartz. A note was attached to the book’s plain, dull cover

‘Another book for your collection. I hope at least some of it can survive. Just don’t give up hope.

~D.H.’

Another note was tacked on the paper of the food package. This one was written on much different paper, red and white striped edges instead of D.H.’s plain. brown paper. She immediately recognized it as the Weather Report.

‘Breaking Weather Report!

It’s gonna be another cold one, folks! The snow’s coming down, faster and faster, each day just a bit faster than the last. That can’t last forever, though! So get cozy, build a nice fire, and stay warm!

Reporting from the Weather Balloon, over the Chimneys, over Ponyville

The Weather Mare’

They hadn’t changed in so long, but the enigmatic ‘Weather Mare’ kept producing them. A quiet voice in the back of her head asked how many ponies were still getting the notes, but she silenced it. She always read the weather reports, being another glimmer of hope. Maybe someday it would be different. It was the most comforting thought she could really muster. Well, on most days, anyway. Today was rapidly proving to not be a normal day.

For once she actually read the report, through and through. ‘The snow’s still coming down, huh?’ Another memory floated to the surface.

-----

“The snow’s still comin down Dash!” Applejack looked out the window, eying the skies nervously. “Y’all said you were gonna fix this!”

Above Sweet Apple Acres a storm was growing in size. The clouds were expanding rapidly, threatening to blanket Ponyville.

“Yeah, well, I’m trying.” Dash’s exhaustion shone through. “If you haven’t noticed, we’ve got the entire weather team clearing clouds. But there’s too many forming.” Dash stretched her legs. “Twilight, I can’t keep this up. Any luck yet?”

Twilight pored over the multiple spell books, looking for anything. “I’ve tried all the weather spells I can find, I don’t understand.”

After about a month of the princesses not raising the sun and moon like normal, the weather began changing in all kinds of ways that none of them could have predicted. Outside, dark grey clouds were constantly forming. They roiled around, growing thicker and depositing snow quicker and quicker.

“It doesn’t make any sense! They’re not losing volume, they’re gaining it.” Twilight slammed all of the books shut at once. Twilight stared intensely at the clouds, then sighed. “Where are the others?”

“Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie all went home to seek refuge. Just like you told them,” Dash said.

“Good. Do you think you can make it home?”

“What?” Dash cocked her head in confusion.

“Twilight, you can’t be suggestin’ what I think you’re suggestin’” Applejack’s eyes seemed permanently glued to the skies.

“Look, we can’t fix this with what we have. The best course of action would be to stay inside, keep warm, and wait it out. It’s a big storm, sure, but it’s can’t go on forever, right?”

“But Twilight, you said it yourself, they’re getting bigger.”

“It’ll... it’ll be fine. I just know it. Dash, you probably shouldn’t be outside much longer. Applejack, sit tight. We’ll be just fine. I promise. We just have to be patient” Twilight walked home, hoping she could convince herself of what she had said.

-----

She looked out her window. It seemed paradoxical to her how the snow could be so blinding when the sky was so dark. She got up, all of her strength going into just pushing herself up. She slowly walked to the window, like a foal walking to their parent. Her legs gave out on her way, a testament to how long it had been since she had truly stood and walked. Was she wrong for doing what she did? She watched the falling snow.

“Twilight?” Spike’s voice called behind her. It was raspy and quiet, just above the crackle of the blaze he tended. She turned to see a very worried looking dragon. “Are you okay?” His voice was so low it sounded as if he was trying to keep a secret from some unseen entity.

Twilight sighed. “Yes Spike. I’m just thinking.” Her voice was just as raspy, and it hurt her throat to talk.

“Thinking?” Spike stood, and walked toward her, although his legs were obviously also not in the best shape.

“Yeah...” She looked away, back outside. For a brief moment she caught her reflection in the glass against the black sky. She was gaunt, deep bags under her eyes, mane disheveled. She had soot smudges all over her face. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear the one looking back at her was somepony completely different. “Man, I look like a wreck.” She laughed. It felt so foreign, like a word she wasn’t sure how to pronounce.

“Twilight, are you okay?” Spike’s voice was heartbreaking, as if he were watching his only friend lose her mind.

“Spike... I’m not sure. But I feel better than I have in a long, long time.” As she spoke, she felt her vocal chords start to loosen up. She leaned forward, pulling the dragon into a loving embrace.

Another feeling struck inside her, and suddenly a memory she very much wanted to forget flashed before her eyes.

-----

‘Just staying warm, Pinkie. Did the Cakes make it out okay?’ Ever since Ponyville had started using just a few mares and stallions to deliver food and packages, sending only letters had been deemed unnecessary danger. Still, with a few creative uses for packages, Twilight had kept up a constant communication with Pinkie, the only friend she still knew the whereabouts of. All of the others had stopped responding to her letters, one by one. She put the letter inside one of the library’s novels, then sent it through the mail.

Several hours later, Twilight opened a small cake box. Inside was a cupcake, just one. Twilight looked past the cupcake, grabbing the note on the bottom.

‘The Cakes were evacuated, so I got this place aaaaall to myself. Just keeping nice and toasty by the fire. I sure hope they’re alright, though. Any news?’ Pinkie’s notes had started as grandiose, celebrating every day that the pair were still alive, but slowly she had lost some of that ever-chipper attitude.

‘Nothing yet. Spike says thanks for the cupcakes, though. He really enjoys them.’ Twilight flattened the note inside one of the books on the shelf, then put it in a parcel, sending it out with the mail. Several hours later, another box came to her.

‘Not a problem, Twilight! The ingredients aren’t too hard to find, although I am kinda running out. Plus I’m using the oven for heat. I don’t mind, though. I’ll be fine’

‘Well, don’t run out on my behalf. Stay safe, Pinkie.’ Twilight put the note on the inside front cover of another book and sent it out. Pinkie’s notes were about the last thing keeping Twilight sane. 11 months ago was the last time she had actually spoken to any of her friends. The notes used to be flying back and forth constantly around town. The mail ponies were constantly moving, from the small bit of daylight they had until exhaustion. Now, though, there were very few, only delivering packages and supplies. ‘They barely do that, at this point.’ Twilight mused. ‘I think the only mailpony left is D.H.’

It was a few days until Pinkie responded. Twilight wasn’t expecting an immediate reply, but it was strange how long it took. A wave of relief washed over her as a signature pink package showed up in the usual place. She opened the lid, finding a small, hastily decorated cake inside. ‘Something’s wrong.’ She thought. She reached for the note. It was in a fast scrawl, written on whatever Pinkie had apparently had right beside her:

‘Twilight
My house is on fire’

Twilight threw the note down, speeding to the window. She looked out to see a small smoke cloud rising above the bakery. “No!” She ran to the door, pushing as hard as she could. The door wouldn’t budge, frozen shut. Twilight slammed her shoulder into the door, but to no avail. She looked out the window again. The smoke was rising higher. She threw the window open and crawled out. She fell into a foot deep of snow, hooves sinking up to her belly. She ran as best as she could, dragging huge amounts of snow along with her. “Pinkie!” She shouted at the top of her lungs. But as the last syllable exited her throat, the buildings roof ignited all at once, exploding violently upward. Twilight shielded her eyes from the blast, and when she looked back, there wasn’t anything standing where the bakery once was. The ground all around it was charred black, and the melted snow formed a massive crater, as if a meteor had struck.

“No!” Twilight’s knees gave out, and she laid on the ground, sobbing. The tears streaming down her cheeks started freezing in the cold air. She vaguely remembered Spike coaxing her back home. The pair shut the window, now aware of the very real silence. No pony was looking into the explosion. No pony ever would. For the first time Twilight realized how quiet the town actually was, and how alone she felt. She sobbed into her dragon’s shoulder, shaking from both cold and grief.

Several hours later, a weather report came drifting through the window.

‘Incoming report... A large jet of heat pierced the clouds today. What could it have been? I’m seeing... Oh... That’s not good... it’s... oh no....a house... has burned down. Another resident lost...

Remember, everypony:

Fire can be warm
Fire can be fun
Fire can be dangerous…

But there’s something even more dangerous than fire.

Please be safe, colts and fillies

Reporting from the Weather Balloon, over the Chimneys, over Ponyville

The Weather Mare’

-----

Twilight came out of the thought, tears streaking her face every so often.

“Are you okay, Twilight?”

“No... no Spike..”

“Here, try eating something. It might make you feel better?” Spike’s voice was practically begging her. She looked toward the package of food. It wasn’t opened yet, and she wondered when the Mail Pony could have delivered it. She shrugged it off, though. Another book was at the bottom.

‘Exterminator by Book Worm’ Twilight was sure she knew the title, but wasn’t sure why. It didn’t seem like the kind of book she would read often.

The note attached to the book unfolded before her.

‘This is the last one I could find in the wreckage, Ms. Twilight. These three should be the last things from -’ Twilight stopped reading as she looked at the books edge. The corner was scorched, as were the spine of ‘Fireflies’ and some of the pages in ‘The Science of Magnetism’. A terrifying thought crept over her, and she looked back at the note.

‘... from Sugarcube Corner’

Twilight felt her breathing grow heavy as she finished the note.

“Twilight?”

“My fault... This is all my fault!” The memories pieced themselves together, and her feelings finally resurfaced. After sitting motionless, apathetically watching a fire ever since that night, all of the pent up emotions came flooding back.

Twilight’s eyes fell to the floor.  The sorrow, the pain, the fear, all of them pushing her past her breaking point. She remembered putting the notes in those books. Those specific books. She looked down, and another object fell out of the book. ‘A postcard?’ Twilight picked it up. A beachfront once adorned the front, but the years had washed away the bright colors, making the normally sunny beach appear overcast and gloomy. The empty chairs went from looking inviting to looking like the aftermath of an evacuation. A pair of sunglasses stared emptily at her. ‘Why does this look familiar?’ She turned it over. The fast scrawl... ‘Pinkie’s note...’

‘Twilight
My house is-’

‘No... no! No more!’

Her head snapped upward, sadness in her eye but determination on her face. She got up, slamming into the door. She bounced off of it, snow firmly keeping it shut.

“Twilight, what are you doing!?”

“I’ve seen almost every friend I’ve ever had disappear in this storm!” She slammed it again, her shoulder aching. “I’m not going to just sit here and wait to die!” She stepped back, and fired a blast of magic at the door. It splintered and shattered, revealing the blank white wall behind it. The snow had been there so long that an impression of the door was completely frozen into it.

Twilight threw a kick at the snow, but it collided dully, leaving only a barely perceptible dent. She fired a blast of magic, carving a good sized hole in it. Immediately more snow fell in, filling in the hole and piling into the room.

“Twilight, we can’t get out. The snow is too thick out there.”

Suddenly Twilight had an idea.

“Spike... this is going to sound strange, but gather everything you want to save.”

“What are you talking about? Why?”

“Because...” She grabbed the books by the fire. “I’m going to burn the library down.”

“What!? Twilight you’ve lost your mind! We can’t -”

“We can, Spike! The only way we’re going to get out is to get rid of all of the snow around us. A big enough fire could do that.” She started piling the remaining books by the former staircase.

“There isn’t an easier way? Teleportation, maybe?”

“Spike, I’m too weak to even get rid of the snow. Teleporting just myself would be hard enough, but the both of us would be out-and-out impossible.” She shut her eyes tight. “Spike... this is something I have to do. Please...” She felt Spike embrace her. She opened tear-filled eyes and stared at the dragon.

“...I don’t know if this will work. But if you’re sure... then I’ll believe you.”

She smiled. Spike ran around the house, grabbing all of the reserve food they had. All of their possessions were gone, burned away long ago. “Ready.”

Twilight lit the pile on fire. She lifted the few remaining books. ‘Fireflies’. ‘The Science of Magnetism’. ‘Exterminator’. She tossed them one by one onto the blaze, making it grow larger and larger. Finally, she looked at the postcard. With a sigh, she tossed it onto the fire. The banister for the stairs sparked, then the fire spread.

The two backed up into the snowy doorway, keeping as close as they could. The fire spread quickly, the cobwebs and dust igniting. Twilight shut her eyes, grabbing Spike, and curled up.

She listened as her life crashed around her, every falling board bringing up another memory.

‘You’re right, Applejack. It’ll be fine.’

A crash.

‘Twilight, it’s going to be fine.’

Another crash shook the floor.

‘It’ll... it’ll be fine. I just know it.’

Crashes started happening over and over. Louder and louder. Each one sounding closer and closer. The sounds filled Twilight’s ears, threatening to overtake her.

‘I’ll be fine’

An eerie silence pervaded. She perked her ears. ‘Is... is it over?’ She opened one eye. Before her laid the remnants of her former home. She lifted her head. A crater surrounded the burnt floor, the walls completely gone spare a rare few unburned sections.

“Spike... we made it.” The dragon lifted his head.

“So... now what?”

“I’m going to Canterlot. I’ve put off this responsibility for far too long. Not any more.”

She started walking, but stopped. “It’s this way.” She turned right, and stopped again, confused. “Or... was it this way?” She turned around. She looked for the mountains in the distance, but to no avail. “Oh...” She sat down, trying to get her bearings.

“Well... we were pretty close, weren’t we?” She quietly chuckled as tears came to her eyes. The past few years became clear to her. What had seemed to her like only a few minutes had in fact been hours. For every day she had thought she had been through in her confinement, it had been weeks. All of her lost time became abundantly clear. The news of the Princess’ disappearance. The first day of the snow. Her friends slowly stopping their letters. Pinkie... It all escaped from her throat, every pent up emotion, in one sound. She started laughing. Not a genuine laugh, but one of fear, of hatred, one that sounded closer to a sob. Twilight’s eyes trained upward, her voice’s volume increasing. All of her energy moved toward her throat, the chuckle becoming a violently shrill roar.

As her voice slowly stopped, her mind sped. It was as if she had stepped into another world. She fell to the ground, exhausted and angry.



“Twiiiliiight!” A shout came over the snowy walls. She looked up, trying to find the source. She saw a pony’s head pop over the edge. ”Oh thank goodness! You’re alive!” The pony bolted towards her, enveloping her in a hug. “I saw the fire and I thought...” A pair of yellow eyes looked at Twilight, brimming with tears.

“Thank you... who... who are you?”

The mare looked briefly hurt, but looked away. “Right... you’ve been out of it for so long... It’s D.H.”

A spark jumped through Twilight’s mind. The grey pony before her had been there any time the mail came.

“I’m... I’m so sorry... my mind... it’s just been...”

“I understand, Miss Twilight. You’ve been gone for a long time.” D.H. looked over the wreckage sadly. “I’d hoped the library would survive until all this blew over. Guess I was wrong.”

“All this what?”

“The storm, the snow, the endless night. I know you’ve been out of it, but I know you’ve seen it.” The mailmare joked. “After all, you were staring out the window for a few days in a row recently.”

Twilight looked at the mare sorrowfully. “I’m sorry.” Her voice was barely a whisper.

D.H. wrapped twilight in a warm embrace. “Ms. Twilight, you have nothing to be sorry about.” She let go. “So I’m guessing you’ve made the right decision after all this time?”

Twilight looked to the sky. “...I hope so.”

The grey mare pointed. “Well then. Canterlot’s due that way. Don’t want to be late, do we?” Twilight smiled, though it pained her.

“Thank you.” She pulled Spike onto her back, and started her trek.

The mailmare pulled a picture out of her satchel with a light purple magic. “We did it, mama,” she said quietly to the portrait of a golden eyed pegasus.

-----

The snow blinded the lavender unicorn, but she didn’t let that impede her any longer. She kept her muzzle pointed toward the castle. All the while she barely thought of anything but the city. Every so often she would feel a shiver at her spine, a combination of her own cold and her assistant’s. After a while, she lost any sense of time. All she had to go on was the hope that she was still pointed in the right direction.

She stopped as she hit a solid object. She looked up. A booth lay before her. While its insides were lit, she couldn’t see the pony inside, save for a vague silhouette.

“Hey there” The voice inside was quiet and sounded bored.

Twilight looked around. As far as she could tell, this voice was directed at her. “Me?”

“Yes, welcome.”

“Where am I? Do you know where Canterlot is?”

“Well, I can tell you that it’s not very far. Look across the water.”

Twilight looked up finally. Behind the booth, behind a long drawn up drawbridge, behind the splendorous walls, lay the city of Canterlot. Though at one point it was a bustling metropolis, now it laid barren.

“The gates are secure, as they should be. Wait...” The pony in the booth leaned forward. Twilight swore she saw a smirk behind the shadow, but shrugged it off as a figment of her imagination. “You probably shouldn’t be outside much longer, you know.” The voice changed, no longer the dull, bored tone but bordering on excitement..

“Well then... can you open the gates so I can go in?”

“Can I open the gates?” The pony asked incredulously. “My one single job? The only job I was hired to do?” The pony slammed its hooves on the table inside. “The one thing I can do better than anyone else is open those gates! So if you’re going to ask, ask again with drama!”

Twilight looked around, trying to figure out what this strange pony meant. “Please open the gates, sir?”

“No, no!” The voice grew louder and clearer. Twilight was finally able to make out that it was a mare speaking.

“Ms. Gate operator, open the gates.” Twilight quietly said.

“More conviction!”

“Gate operator, open the gates.” Twilight said, a little more forcefully.

“Louder!”

Twilight repositioned herself, all four hooves planted firmly in the snow.“GATE OPERATOR! OPEN THE GATES!” Twilight shouted at the top of her lungs.

“THERE YOU GO KID!” The operator slammed a lever down. The drawbridge roared to life, lowering to the ground quickly. Twilight stepped on the gate and walked in.

Inside the booth, the operator pulled the cap she had been assigned off. “Been waiting way too long to do that.” She smirked, then blew the rainbow hair out of her eyes.

Twilight slowly walked through the silent town. Rarely she would see a figure move, but they were always in the corners of her vision. She decided it didn’t matter. Her hoofprints were the only ones in the streets fine layer of powder snow. She made her way to the throne room at the top of the city. ‘I don’t know what caused this.’

The guards stepped aside, allowing her to pass into the room unimpeded. ‘I don’t know where Celestia has gone, nor Luna or Cadence.’

She sat on the throne, placing Celestia’s crown on her head. ‘I don’t know what I can do to truly help.’

Her wings snapped open, and she felt her magic surge. Her eyes glowed a brilliant white, and she used her magic to grasp the largest objects she could find: The Sun and The Moon. ‘But I know how I can start.’

-----

‘It’s been snowing for as long as anypony can remember. Or maybe our memories are just getting foggy.

Tomorrow’s forecast... oh my... something we haven’t seen in a very very long time... The SUN comes out! But is it rising or is it setting? We will know soon enough!

Reporting from the Weather Balloon, over the Chimneys, over Ponyville

The Weather Mare’

Fluttershy signed her pseudonym, then dropped the report into Ponyville.
I wasn't exactly in a good place when I started this. This helped me a lot.

This one shot was inspired partially by the game Little Inferno. Go cheeck it out. Also, While writing this I had Pandora playing a Sigur Ros station. I recommend checking them out.
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:iconchaoscontrl:
ChaosContrl Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Wow... Well written...

I loved it! I was submerged within the story, wanting to know what will happen next, what are the memories, and what really happened.

Good job! =D
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:iconirken-violinist:
irken-violinist Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
This is amazing! I love it!
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:iconxaldensmutanthamster:
Xaldensmutanthamster Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
Danke. I'm glad this got the reception it's getting.
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:iconirken-violinist:
irken-violinist Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Are you going to make a sequel?
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:iconxaldensmutanthamster:
Xaldensmutanthamster Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
I might make something along similar lines, but probably not a sequel. To me the story of Inferno is as wrapped up as I want to make it.
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:iconirken-violinist:
irken-violinist Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I feel so too but it'd also be nice to know a bit more, ya know?
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:iconxaldensmutanthamster:
Yeah, I understand. I do like keeping most of it mysterious, though. It makes you draw your own conclusions. Plus, to be honest, I haven't decided most of the details myself. If I were to make this a series I'd have to seriously iron out exactly what happened and why just to keep up some semblance of continuity, even if I didn't end up telling people.
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:iconirken-violinist:
irken-violinist Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah... But it'd be really cool! :)
But Inferno all by itself is still amazing
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:iconthepoketrix2:
ThePoketrix2 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome fic, dude.
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:iconchaosdx1:
ChaosDX1 Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah, brings back good memories of Little Inferno. I still remember those four key items somehow.
I pulled up a few songs from the official soundtrack while reading.
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