~ Interlude III ~ A Filly’s Dream ~Monochromatic
A lone hooded filly made her way through a solitary forest, wearing a cape far too large for her small body, which dragged on the ground as she trotted along. Any other filly would have been afraid of the creepy forest, but this little filly knew she didn’t have to be; the single most powerful pony in the entire world was watching over her.
She trotted toward a nearby tree, staring at the hollowed hole near the top. She couldn’t reach it from the ground, of course, nor could she reach the balloons she knew were stashed inside, but then again…
She narrowed her eyes, and inch by inch, the hole started to move down the tree trunk until it was right in front of her. She reached in but, halfway through, decided she didn’t want balloons, she wanted cake. As such, she pulled out the most delicious cake from inside the tree, decorated with cherries and meringue and cookies.
She smacked her lips, looking around for a second before lifting her hoof to steal a cookie. It looked so good, sprinkles on top of sprinkles and chocolate icing on top of more choco—
“Who’s that for, Pinkie? Your friend, Princess Luna?”
Startled, Pinkie turned around to find a smirking colt standing several feet away. In her surprise, she’d dropped the cake, but she didn’t get the chance to mourn it before the colt spoke again.
“Aw, boo hoo. You dropped the cake for your only friend,” he said, laughing and pointing at the cake melting into the ground. “Now how are you going to keep her around?”
Pinkie backed up against the tree, hood falling off and tears brimming her eyes. “I… I… I have a-another one!” she exclaimed, trying to smile and turning around to find… that the hole had gone back up to the top of the tree, which was now several miles taller than it was before. She took a step back, gulping. “Uhm…”
“Dumb Pinkie!” the colt exclaimed, taking a step toward her when she turned back around. His expression had changed from mocking to angry. “Why would the princess be friends with you? You’re not special! She comes to everypony’s dreams, and when you grow up, she’ll stop coming to yours, too!”
“Th-that’s not true!” Pinkie argued, tears still welling. “Princess Luna’s always gonna visit me ’cause I’ll always believe in her!”
“Nuh-uh! What makes you think she wants to keep coming?! You can’t even help her!”
Pinkie shook her head. “Nuh-uh! She’s my best fri—”
She stopped, interrupted by the sound of somepony humming in the distance. Immediately she felt herself relax, standing up straighter now that she’d heard the familiar signal—her nightmare was coming to an end before it could even begin.
The colt, however, looked confused. “Wh-what’s that? Who’s singing?!” he asked, looking around only to find a figure trotting toward him amidst the trees. He backed away as the figure approached, stumbling to a halt as his rump hit a tree. The figure continued to stalk closer until he found himself face to face with a distinctly irritated-looking blue alicorn.
“Pr-Princess Luna!” he squeaked, trying to back farther away.
Without so much as a word to him, Luna sparked her horn twice and the foal vanished into thin air.
“Princess Luna!” Pinkie exclaimed, brightening up considerably and rushing to the alicorn. “You’re here, you’re here!” She sat down on her hind legs and extended her forelegs, giggling when Princess Luna leaned down to nuzzle her.
“Forgive me for my lateness, Little One,” Princess Luna said when she drew herself up again. “The real Dipsy Drops was having a nightmare as well, and it took me longer than expected to attend to it.”
“Oh no!” Pinkie said, placing her hooves on her mouth. “Is he all right? Did it take long because it was a really super-awful nightmare?” Then she lowered her hooves and narrowed her eyes. “Or did it take long because… you didn’t want to help him?” When Luna failed to reply, Pinkie gasped and crossed her hooves, furrowing her brow. “Princess, you promised!”
Princess Luna took a step back, indignant at Pinkie’s scolding expression. “Little One, I would never let a foal suffer from a terrible nightmare!” she protested, stamping her hoof against the ground. She turned her head and mumbled, “Though I am growing very weary of his dreams being utterly horrid toward yo—” She stopped herself and sighed. “For once, I cannot wait for a pony to grow up and stop believing in me so I do not have to enter his slumbers ever again.”
Pinkie looked satisfied. “Okie-dokie! I believe you! Nopony deserves nightmares, not even meanies like Dipsy Drops, right?”
Princess Luna looked to Pinkie and smiled. “Right,” she said, and then her smile turned mischievous. “I can only wish I had not let out a squeak of excitement when the nightmare Pinkie fought back, however.”
Pinkie giggled, standing up. “Do you have to leave again?” she asked, blinking her eyes and dreaming a small staircase into existence. She pushed it next to Princess Luna and used it to climb up onto the princess’ back before standing on her hind legs and letting herself drop on Luna’s head. She placed her forehooves over Luna’s eyes and with a giggle exclaimed, “You can’t leave if you can’t see!”
Princess Luna shook her head, laughing and levitating Pinkie off and floating her in front of herself. “Do not worry. I have already finished taking care of the other foals, and unless adults have started believing in me, I cannot enter their dreams.”
Pinkie gasped, reaching up with her hoof and shaking Luna’s head by her muzzle. “Does this mean… super dreamy playtime?” Her question was answered when Luna’s horn flashed and the scenery around them changed into a playground filled with swings and slides as tall as entire houses. “Eeeeeee!”
She wriggled around until Princess Luna put her down. She then looked at the tallest slide and hopped once, twice, and a final time, jumping high enough to reach the top of the slide. “Bet you can’t jump as high as me!” she called. “Princess Luna! Do your secret voice! The princess one!”
Luna cleared her throat and called out in a voice that made the slide quake and Pinkie’s dream bones rumble: “Dost thou enjoy it when we speak in our royal voice?”
“Yes, I do!” Pinkie called back, riding down to the bottom of the slide and landing on the ground with a soft thud. “I mean, yes we do-eth!” She got up and hopped in place. “Did other ponies talk in the secret voice, too?”
Princess Luna harrumphed. “No. Only Sister and I use it. Cadance and Twilight never did, despite my insistence.”
At the mention of the other princesses, Pinkie clapped her hooves. “Ooooh! I wanna see them in one of your movies again! Pleeeease?”
“‘Movies’? Oh. You mean my memory orbs.” Luna smiled. “I suppose I can. How about—”
“I wanna pick! I wanna pick!”
Luna playfully rolled her eyes. She flashed her horn and pulled a smattering of orbs from the ether, each with hazy pictures playing out behind the milky white of their surface. Immediately Pinkie jumped up and touched one of them, causing it to burst and change the scenery around them.
Rather than a playground, they were now inside what seemed to be an observatory where a second Luna was busy sulking as she stared out the window. Several objects inside the room were floating upside down, and there was a chair that kept switching back and forth between being made of goop and being made of marshmallows.
Pinkie climbed up on Princess Luna’s back, before pulling on the alicorn’s ear and whispering, “Why are you so grumpy? And why’s everything so weird?”
Her question was answered when the door to the observatory slammed open, followed by a unicorn trotting in, her nose stuck between the pages of a book. Behind her floated several dozen other books in an orderly line.
“Ohhhh… I’ve never seen her without wings before!” Pinkie whispered, pulling on Princess Luna’s ear again.
“Twilight Sparkle!” Memory Luna exclaimed, swirling around on the spot and scowling at the unicorn, who was ignoring the irritated princess. “Canst thou please tell Us why our observatory resembles Discord’s abode?! We think We’ve had enough of his chaos for our entire immortal lifetime!”
Twilight trotted all the way up to the desk before putting her book down and finally turning to the princess. “Princess Celestia asked me to investigate to find a way to stop Discord. I replicated his chaos magic so I could look for a pattern,” she explained, giggling and clapping her hooves together. “Isn’t it exciting?!”
“Hardly.” Memory Luna turned back to her window, staring out at the night sky. “Thou thinkest anything our sister says is exciting.” She turned back to Twilight. “Didst thou hear our subjects all saying Celestia wouldst vanquish him?! We could vanquish him as well, and in less time, too!”
“Yeah!” Pinkie exclaimed, forgetting she could not be heard, but drawing a smile from the real Princess Luna nevertheless.
“Princess… we are all doing what we can to stop Discord,” Twilight said, frowning and opening her book. “Princess Celestia would not have asked me to help if she thought she could do it on her own.”
Memory Luna glared down Twilight’s encouraging smile. “Dost thou really believe that?”
Twilight faltered. “Well, I…”
Memory Luna harrumphed and turned back to her window. “That answers our question.”
Twilight sighed. “Princess, I—”
Seconds later, a little purple dragon waddled into the room, carrying a large book at least two times his size. “I brought the book you wanted!”
Twilight levitated the book to her desk and smiled widely. “Thank you, Spike! What would I do without you?” she asked, giggling when the little dragon puffed out his chest. She cleared her throat and opened it up to a specific page. After a minute of scanning, she clapped her hooves again, practically jumping in place. “Ooooh, here it is! Look! This might help us defeat Discord!”
She levitated the book and turned it around for Memory Luna to see. On it was a drawing of a very unimpressive-looking grey sphere.
“Twilight Sparkle, We truly hope thou dost not expect us to hurl stones at him as our plan of attack.”
Twilight rolled her eyes playfully and shook her head. “No, Princess! This is something I’ve read about in ancient scrolls from Princess Celestia’s private library.” She turned the book back toward herself and frowned. “It seems to be a magic stone powered by different elemental essences, rumored to be powerful enough to stop anything. I’ve only managed to find out information about one using the essence of magic, but I imagine there must be more? There is not much information about it, and not even Princess Celestia knows a lot about it.”
“Essence of magic?”
Twilight nodded. “I imagine even one must be powerful enough to defeat Discord. If I…” She looked up, her eyes practically shining. Filled with glee, she moved away from her desk, practically jumping around in excited circles. “If I find one, we could bring an end to the Chaos War!”
Memory Luna frowned. “Elements? What about the other ones? What elements? Are they linked to magical beings? Or alicorns?”
Twilight stopped her hopping, biting her lip. “Alicorns…?” She gasped, stamping her forehoof against the desk. “What if the other Elemental Stones are linked to you, Princess Celestia, and Cadance?! The Element of the Sun and the Element of the Moon? And does the Element of Magic bond them together? That might be it!” Her ears dropped. “But… Cadance is an alicorn too, even if she was turned into one, rather than born as one. Does… does her element count?”
Twilight fell silent, suddenly frozen like a statue, and it took Pinkie a moment to realize it wasn’t Twilight who’d stopped talking, but the memory itself that had stopped.
“Princess Luna?” she asked, tapping the princess on the head. “Why’d you stop the movie?”
“I was thinking…” She shook her head, apparently dispelling a bad thought, and looked up at the floating orbs. “Perhaps we should watch a different ‘movie’? I am tiring of this particular one.”
Pinkie climbed up on top of Luna’s head so as to reach the nearest orb, poking it with her hoof and squealing with glee when it popped open and the scenery again changed. She retreated back down to her stellar seat, resting her chin on the top of Princess Luna’s head and holding onto Luna’s ear—not out of excitement or curiosity, but now out of fear.
Rather than taking them to a castle or a room or some lovely place, the memory took them inside a dark and dank place that looked very much like the inside of a cave. There was a translucent black barrier blocking the entrance, and yet despite this, enough light filtered in to allow the filly a good look at a terrifying sight.
There was Luna, sitting on the floor, staring down at her forehooves with an utterly terrified expression. In front of her was a beast that in any other circumstances would have made the filly gawk. There was no good way to describe him: it was like a foal had disassembled different animal dolls and sewn them all together to create a truly unsettling creature.
She’d heard of the Spirit, of course. She’d known he was the reason Princess Luna did not tell her where the others were. She knew Princess Luna was protecting her, but it was hard to fear a creature she’d never seen until that moment. The Spirit hovered over the defenseless alicorn, his lips twisted into a terrifying smile.
“Pr-Princess?” Pinkie squeaked, trying to get her friend’s attention.
Luna, however, was too transfixed by the scene unfolding to hear Pinkie’s terrified voice, or feel the filly desperately tugging at her ear.
“Well, well, well!” the Spirit said when Luna turned up to glare at him. “My dearest moon princess! Why are you looking at me like that? Didn’t you confess to Twilight in a letter that you often felt as invisible as a ghost? Now you are one!”
Memory Luna stood up, baring her teeth at the Spirit and glaring at him through teary eyes.
“Besides, I’m not the one you should be upset at!” he continued, placing his paw on his chest in an indignant motion. “Or hast thou forgotten what thy precious little friend has done? I gave her a perfectly reasonable demand, and she decided to restart the war by denying me what I had been promised! Honestly, I’m the victim here!”
“Reasonable demand?!” Luna spat out. “You dare call that… that charade a reasonable demand?! Twilight Sparkle was never given a choice in the first place! She would never sacrifice the most precious…” She stepped back, her wings flaring. “…Your intent was war from the very start.”
The Spirit laughed, snapping his fingers so confetti fell around—and through—Luna. “Con-gra-tu-lations, Princess! That certainly did take you a while, didn’t it? Celestia was on to me for months before the fifth ‘peace meeting.’ She knew as well as I did that our ‘peace’ was anything but peaceful. Then again, it wasn’t as if she had any way to stop me, now did she?”
The Spirit snorted. “I knew since the third peace meeting.”
“The third yea—”
The Spirit materialized in front of her. “Yes, the third year, my dear. I must say, bravo on keeping it a secret from me for so long. Too bad your precious newly appointed alicorn princess wasn’t so good at hiding how scared she was of me.”
“Then why wait until now?! Why not just declare war then?!”
“Why?” he asked, slowly, carefully. “I love tricks, Princess Luna! I am the very best at them! And yet…” He leaned in and whispered: “I despise when silly little ponies think they can fool me.” He leaned back and floated up into a horizontal position, his belly down as if he were lying on a bed. “What? Did you think I’d never figure it out? Or that I’d never do something as elaborate as this when I did?” He grinned and fluttered his eyelashes. “Haven’t you ever heard of organized chaos? It can be quite deadly. Or ghostly, in this case!”
When Luna’s only reply was to try and shoot an attack at him, he simply teleported away before reappearing above her.
“Twilight didn’t deserve any of this! We—”
“Princess, you brought this all upon yourselves! Fool me once, shame on me; fool me for three years, my, my, what a shame on you indeed! You really thought I’d sit there and be reformed? Oh, for the longest time, I simply couldn’t figure out how a mere unicorn had single-hoofedly managed to bring me down from the God of Chaos to somepony groveling for your mercy—until I figured it out. Goodness, I couldn’t let you upstage me, could I? How am I doing, by the way?”
He snapped his fingers and an illusion of Twilight appeared, looking quite terrified.
“You should have let her face the consequences of her mistake all on her own. I always knew that little know-it-all wasn’t as strong or intelligent as you all made her out to be, but my, did you trick me into thinking she was. I suppose you had to cover it up, didn’t you, with your hero complex and all? What would Celestia do if anypony knew her precious student had made such a terrible mistake? Or Cadance, knowing her precious sister-in-law had failed Equestria? And you…” He snorted and made a dismissive gesture with his hoof. “You just wanted to pretend you were useful.”
“N-no, that is not—!”
“Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’m all out of tea, and though this has been terribly fun, I still have three more princesses to deal with! So much to do, so little time!” he said, snapping his fingers so a cup of tea appeared in his paw, which he promptly spilled all over the ground. He then threw the cup behind him, smiling when it smashed against the barrier.
“Since you’re too much of a weakling to destroy the barrier yourself, you’ll have to wait until your precious sister or friend come and save you. But don’t worry, I’m sure it won’t take too long for somepony to find them. After all, they’ll be missed, unlike a certain other somepony.” With a sinister laugh, he turned around to leave, but stopped abruptly.
“Oh! Silly me! I almost forgot!” The Spirit snapped his fingers and Luna’s crown appeared in his hand. “I’ll be borrowing this, Princess.” He flung the crown up in the air and clapped when it landed on his head. “This crown will be perfect for fooling those apple farmers into telling me where Princess Twilight Sparkle’s secret library is. Goodness, am I going to have fun with her.”
“NO!” Memory Luna and the real Luna yelled, both taking a step toward the fading-out draconequus.
Memory Luna rushed toward the entrance, colliding with the barrier, again and again and again. “No! Come back! COME BACK!” After her fifth futile attempt, she slid down the barrier, her voice hoarse and terrified. “Sister… Twilight… Forgive me…”
“Sister…” Princess Luna whispered, too immersed in the memory to remember it was a memory, until without warning, Pinkie changed it into an altogether different one. “Wh-what…?”
Luna stepped back. She immediately stopped the memory and relief was apparent on her face at the sight of Pinkie still sitting on top of her, hugging her tightly.
There were a few seconds of silence until Pinkie replied.
“I-I d-didn’t like the mo-movie, P-Princess Luna,” the filly sniffled, burying her face in Luna’s mane and hugging the back of Luna’s head as tightly as she could.
Before Pinkie could use the alicorn’s mane as a tissue, Luna gently pried the weeping filly off with her magic. Luna set her down on the floor, sitting down and wrapping a wing around the filly when Pinkie’s first act was to hug Luna’s foreleg as if her short life depended on it.
“I apologize, Little One,” Luna softly said, looking genuinely distressed by Pinkie’s state. “I… I should have been more careful. That one wasn’t meant for your eyes. Are you all right?”
After the five minutes it took Pinkie to be “all right,” she backed off and rubbed her hoof against her eyes, nodding her head. “Uh-huh…”
“Pinkie Pie?” Luna asked, waiting for Pinkie to look up before smiling widely and saying, “Dost thou know thou art my very best friend?”
The effect was instantaneous.
Pinkie’s eyes brightened up as she hopped in place. “You’re my very best friend too, Luna!” she exclaimed, giggling when Luna leaned down to nuzzle her. She stood up straight and put on the most determined face she could muster. “And, and I’m gonna get you out of here super fast, and no meanie spirit will stop me! I promise!”
Luna giggled. “I will hold you to that promise, Little One.”
Pinkie wanting and getting cake in her dream reminds me of those dreams where I dream something I really want. I’m excited in the dream because of the item. Then I wake up and frown because it was all a dream.
The Pinkie Pie and Luna friendship is gold. Love Pinkie’s enthusiasm for Luna and Luna’s appreciation of Pinkie. It wasn’t a pair I’d thought I’d come across. But here it is handled so well and really adds to the story. So far each of the main characters seem to represent some emotional aspect for me. Luna and Twilight are trapped and represent some of the harder emotions. Twilight’s is a bit about obsession and guilt getting one stuck. Luna’s seems to be about being forgotten or not being important. Pinkie and Rarity are about positive emotions. Rarity is about courage and determination. Pinkie’s is optimism and delicious cupcakes. That’s my interpretation so far. Now on to Act II! – starting tomorrow because now I need to dream.
picture me sitting here with a conspiracy corkboard and you’ve got the right image because oh did my brain start tingling….according to the original legend discord went after celestia first and luna second, but he tells luna that he has three more princesses to attend to in her memory. now the legend could always be incorrect, but it’s so interesting to consider that discord’s been specifically telling the princesses things that prey on their fears. that luna is too weak to break out, and that she was the easiest, the first to succumb, so now a thousand years later she won’t even consider that she’s powerful to get out without celestia or twilight. that twilight will destroy her chances of seeing spike again if she leaves the library, and her own obsession is now her prison. don’t think i didn’t notice the change in barrier colors! it was originally black and so was luna’s and now it’s pink! and i don’t remember exactly what happens later bc it’s been so long and my memory is bad BUT I’M ONTO SOMETHING HERE I SWEAR (if i’m not this never happened.) like i said last time i’m delightfully thrilled to see how celestia is going to play into all of this later.
anyway theorizing over. FOR NOW. i love how you write dream logic and dreams like ahhhh it’s so good! rarity’s was so unsettling and uncanny and pinkie’s is just so…pinkie lol. it feels like a proper fun dream sequence. i love how it works. luna and pinkie getting to hang out in pinkie’s dreams and pinkie loving luna’s royal voice and not being afraid of her and just the both of them showering each other in love…they are FRIENDS! THEY ARE BEST FRIENDS! i understand all the luna and pinkie fans now i get it i see the light….i didn’t understand when i was like fourteen on deviantART but i get it now….you were right….