Five ponies, each silent, exchanged nervous glances. A crisp midday breeze wafted past them, kicking up the scattered autumn leaves around the park. It was sunny - almost every day was. And it was warm, as well as inviting, the sun's rays skittering across the rolling landscape. But at the old wooden table at which they sat, it seemed like the heat did not reach them, and the breeze had died to a whimper.
In the silence shared amongst them, a light chipping noise was drifting with the air. Tucked between one timid yellow pegasus and one quiet pink party pony, Rarity was flicking the cracking red paint off the wood, a forlorn expression across her downcast face. She breathed out a heavy sigh, soon followed by her two friends.
Across from them, Applejack and Rainbow Dash were giving each other an uncertain look. They said nothing, but they understood each other perfectly: what now? The pegasus tossed her multi-hued mane to the wind, looking out at the thin whitewood tree line that surrounded their little grotto. Her mouth opened and began fumbling with proposed words, but she simply shook her head quietly. A strong orange hoof pressed against her shoulder, and she turned to be greeted with a soft smile.
The two turned back to the table. In its center was a small violet book, bound in faux leather and stitched with fine fiber. Branded onto its front was a six point star with several smaller stars shooting out around it.
Rarity leaned in and said, "I suppose somepony has to ask: how did you get it?"
"I, uh, well I went in an' asked her to find me a few books. While she was busyin' herself, I snagged it. It was a dishonest thing to do, I know...but..."
"You did the right thing Applejack," Rainbow assured.
"How is she?" Fluttershy asked, almost in a whisper.
"Eh, um...not good. She's just...not good." Applejack shook her head.
"Well that's why we're here - why we have this." The unicorn nodded to the little book. "To fix this. Thank you, Applejack, for getting this. You know it's for the best."
"I don't doubt it," the mare replied. She tipped her Stetson hat down to shade her brow. "I still feel bad though."
"Maybe we should just get started," Rainbow Dash said.
Rarity gave an affirmative nod. "Yes, I suppose we should. Is there...anypony who would like to be the first?"
A silence befell them once more.
After exchanging many wary glances, the mare sighed, whipping back her deep purple mane and reaching in. She pulled the book close and got to work flipping through its pages with her sky blue magic. "This all started a few months ago. But...what, three, is it?"
"Five," Fluttershy sighed.
"Five it is." She bent down and squinted as the pages flew. Eventually, the ruffling papers stopped, and she placed her hoof down on the page. "Right here, April fourteenth. Does that sound about right?"
Applejack tossed her eyes about in thought, then nodded.
"Right then. I...I suppose I'll just read it aloud." She cleared her throat. "April fourteenth..."
I met a new friend today! This is great, especially now. I'm actually beginning to get a bit lonely. As I've already said, Spike's away at Canterlot to visit the Princess. Spike said something about having a meeting with her. I mean, I miss him, but hey, the princess does what she does. I guess that's a bit confusing. I actually think she's worried for some reason. Maybe it's that I've been busy lately. Like, really really busy. Princess Celestia said I ought to take a break, but I can't stop. I need to learn more. It's actually pretty hard, so I'm not going to learn it by just sitting around on my plot. I'm no slacker.
Anyways, so this new friend of mine: she's fairly new, so nopony in town knows her. That means I'm her first friend! And with such a beautiful name like Morning Dusk, and a great personality too, how could I be any happier?
Well I'll tell you how! She's asked to keep me company! I just about cried when I said yes. Things just seem so empty lately. I feel like my friends are running out of time to spend with me. It's sad to think that, but it's true either way. Just yesterday, when I asked Applejack to come down to the pond with me, she apologized and said something about having too many apples to harvest. Strange, right? It's April! Though...I suppose spring is the season of bloom, life, and all that stuff.
And then there was Fluttershy. She's sweet, and I'd never tell her, but cute too. Ah, but I don't mean to go off on a tangent. I asked if she'd like to come down to a coffee shop a few days ago, but she said she was too busy with her chickens.
Rainbow's too busy with the spring showers, and Rarity and Pinkie are both off doing their own things. I don't mean to sound greedy or anything, but I just feel like they don't have much time for me anymore.
So it's great that Morning Dusk is here! Right now I'm sitting all cozy in front of my fireplace, it's raining outside, and she and I are just chatting it up! I actually feel happy again. This is nice.
"That's it for that one," Rarity said, flipping the page.
"Morning Dusk..." Rainbow bit her lip and turned away. "Well that wasn't so bad. Read the next one."
"Please?" Fluttershy nudged her. Her cheeks were burning a deep scarlet.
"Give me a moment, I'm trying to see if this is important." She scanned the page before her. "All right. Here we have April twenty first."
"Does that sound familiar to anypony?" Rainbow asked.
"It does mention you here," she replied.
"Let me see that." The pegasus leaned in, her forelegs outstretched. Rarity spun the book to her, landing it in her hooves. As they both leaned back, Rainbow read, "April twenty first..."
My head hurts. It's bad. I went to the store today to get some sort of painkiller. Lucky for me there's a tiny little herbal stand just down the street. It was pouring today - those pegasi really know how to kick up a storm. I even heard Rainbow Dash had a large hoof in it. But I went anyways, because some things are just too important. I mean, I had to recount the books today, and that was a no-go with this kind of headache.
Morning Dusk and I had a little conversation on the way there. She told me that I probably should be conservative with whatever I buy, just in case I get these headaches a lot. I told her not to worry, but she said she would anyways. Now that's a true friend.
So after I got done soaking myself in the freezing rain, I took one of these little herbal tabs. The thing tasted soooo nasty, but it worked. Well, for a bit at least. Time enough for me to take a bath and get some organizing done. I had to stop about halfway through though... My head began to pound, and I started to lose my train of thought. Morning says I should take a nap, and I might, too. Celestia knows I deserve one.
Speaking of Celestia, she sent me a letter telling me how proud she is! I just recently sent her a good letter or three on some new lessons on magic, friendship, the works. I'm so proud, Morning is too. More. I need to learn more. Then she'll be even more proud!
...I hope no one ever reads this...
Well it's after midnight right now. I just got done with my studies for tonight...
"She just rambles on after that," Dash said, scanning the few final paragraphs. "Something about her last friendship report. She's obsessed with those things, I swear..."
"She is. Poor dear; last time I saw her, she looked so tired," Rarity said.
"Yep," Applejack agreed, tipping her Stetson to the wind. She was silent for a moment, letting the breeze ruffle her fur as she bit her lip. "RD, y'all said it sounded familiar?
"That was the day I was on storm duty. We had a few problems with the clouds just outside Ponyville, and when I was flying over...I remember now. Aw man, how could I forget? I was heading to a cloud break when I saw Twilight," she explained. "I told her to get out of the rain, but I don't know if she heard me."
"How did she look? What all was she doing? Was she talking...?" Applejack asked, biting her own lip now.
"Tired. And...yeah...yeah she was."
There was a pause.
"I dunno, I didn't see," Rainbow said.
"Well there had to have been somepony there," Rarity said.
The pegasus shook her head. "I don't think there was."
There was another pause, this one thicker and longer than the first.
"Can, um, can I see it?" Fluttershy asked timidly. Her face was buried in her mane, with only one eye poking out.
Rainbow, with the best smile she could muster, said, "Sure. Here ya go."
The book spun over to the pegasus, who slowly picked it up and flipped a few pages. All eyes fell to her with expectant stares. "Um, right here. May first."
"Go ahead and read it sugarcube," Applejack said softly.
Fluttershy nodded and turned down to the bleach white paper. It's calligraphy handwriting was blotched and messy, as if it was written in a hurry. "It's scribbled," she said.
"Is it too hard to read?"
"No, I can read it. May first..."
My head is pounding again, but it doesn't hurt per se. I...I can't quite figure out what it means. I can hardly think, actually. I guess it's just because of the headache, but it's really bothersome. My thoughts are there, then they aren't. I hope this goes away soon.
I'm laying here on my bed, the lights off, curtains closed, and only Morning for company. Spike came back from Canterlot a few days ago, though he had a bag with some kind of pills in it. He said the Princess gave them to him. They're supposed to make me relax. Doesn't he get it? I don't want to relax. There's so much to learn, even if it is stressful at times. I can handle it.
But you know, he's been really helpful. I swear, I'm lucky to have such ponies like Morning, my friends, and Spike around. Though my friends are still really busy, but I guess that's okay.
Morning and I are talking about my little headache right now. I told her that I can hardly keep a steady thought, and she thinks I should give thinking a rest. Not easy - I should know. But I've done it before. You know, just kind of space out. But I can't. I just can't right now. I feel like I'm in limbo. I can't think, but I can't not think. It's a miracle I can even write this down.
I did get to go out with my friends yesterday, did you know? Well, of course you didn't. You're a book. But still, I did. It was so nice to see them after such a long break. They were all so happy, and apologized for not spending more time with me. I told them it was okay, and we all went to Sugarcube corner for a bite to eat. It was...well, it was a good day. Morning was with us, though she was pretty silent. She's chatty now, though. I swear, she's so opinionated.
Right now, though, she wants me to stop writing and rest. Such a nice pony.
"That's it," Fluttershy mumbled. She slid the book back to Rainbow, who gripped it with her hooves.
"Just hearing it makes me feel ill," Rarity sighed, dropping her head.
Rainbow inspected the pages before her. "Well hold onto your gut and listen to this. May fourteenth..."
My thoughts haven't exactly cleared... Though maybe I just need some time alone. Maybe that's it. My friends are nice, but they keep talking about help. I don't even know what they need help with.
This is so scattered. I can't think. I didn't get much rest last night. It's okay though. Morning was with me all night. I feel a bit sick, but I think I'll be fine.
About midnight I got hungry. I went to the kitchen. Funny thing, though. I guess I was just tired, but I forgot why I was there. Morning didn't know either. I didn't remember until I got back in bed. Then I had to get up again.
Things aren't bad though. I'm seeing less of my friends again, but I still have Spike and Morning. They're nice. Maybe I need some coffee and breakfast. It's almost eleven.
They were hushed by the silent breeze that washed over them. It was cool and calm, and perhaps did more for them than they realized. Each of them had their head in the breeze, sucking in deeply as it rolled over them. They let their manes blow back, flowing freely with their tails. The grotto breeze always had a soothing effect, and was known for its romantic tendencies. But today, it was tainted with a bitter taste and sour smell.
"Should we read more?" Rainbow asked.
Rarity nodded, placing her hooves on her mouth. In a muffled tone, she said, "I do wish I could say no...give it here."
Rainbow slid the book her way, and she began flipping through the pages.
"Um, Applejack?" Fluttershy asked, barely speaking above the crinkling of the rolling leaves. "How was Twilight again?"
The mare shuddered. "She was...just..."
"Right here," Rarity said, obviously sensing her friends tension. "May twenty second..."
I'm trying to figure out how long it's been since I've gone out. I remember sending my last friendship report a few days ago. It was a few days ago, right? I don't remember. I'm sure I will eventually.
Morning says it's been a few days, but it feels like it's been so much longer. I asked my friends to come visit me for some tea, but they declined. It may be bad of me to say, but I have the feeling, in the very back of my mind, that they're ignoring me. I mean, I asked a few days ago, and only got two responses. The others came a day late. Granted, I did send invitations, but they said r.s.v.p. I would've thought they'd at least be kind enough to do so.
I wish I could say that it didn't matter. But it does. It kind of hurts. I know, I know, only a day late. Morning emphasizes that endlessly, you should hear her. But it still makes me wonder. They never have time for me. And then I see them at the stands with each other, or even just idly chatting with a vendor...they aren't even doing anything! Nothing at all! Not busy! Nothing! Where are they for me?!
I'm sorry...I've been sick. I think I already wrote that down, but still, it makes me stressed. Morning and Spike are doing a great job of taking care of me though, and honestly I'm feeling better. My thoughts though...they're still haywire. Here one second, gone the next. Or covered up by a new one. It's like a never ending cake that just stacks and stacks with layers of chocolate. I could use some chocolate cake. Maybe later I'll go down to Sugarcube Corner for some.
"What was going on there?" Rainbow asked with a sneer.
"Oh lose the scowl, you," the mare beside her scolded. She then turned to the rest of her friends, and said," But I wonder too. What was that? Twi never said anythin' to me about this."
"I'm not sure girls. As well, her little ending ramble about cake was strange. It was a bit random, agreed?" She got three affirmative nods. "Right then. What...what do you girls think? Fluttershy?"
"I-I don't know. I've never treated a pony before, so..."
"We know that sug', but what do you think. Just throw something out there," Applejack said with a soft smile.
"W-Well I think she's...um...I don't know enough to tell..."
Rarity pondered this, before slowly nodding with a heavy frown. "She's right. We ought to read on, but...by Celestia, I just don't know...I'm not sure what to say," she said, flipping the page with an uneasy huff. She stopped immediately, bending down and tracing the center line with her eye. Six rows of serrated paper strips ran up the length of the binding.. "My, this is quite the gap...Perhaps a fair place to stop?
She looked around, receiving nothing but soft, disapproving looks from her friends.
"...All right then. There's a few torn pages, and the next actual entry is June ninth..."
I tore them out. Too much. They just seemed wrong. I had to tear them out. And then I burned them. Morning and I thought it was a good idea.
Today I did a bit of shelving. I don't know what I was thinking! My thoughts aren't clear...I put the J's in with the R's, and then jumbled the rest. When I finally figured it out, I got so angry. Just so angry, and then Morning got angry too. She started saying things, nasty things. I told her it was an accident, but she didn't care. She got critical, angry, started calling me...things.
Then I got this image. It was bad. A bad image. I saw my library on fire! But then it was gone, just poof, gone! It still scared me though. Morning stopped yelling at me to say it was all right. I believed her. I guess I was just angry. Anyways, we made up, and things are good.
I'm sitting in the main area right now. I don't remember why I wanted to write in my diary, though it had to have been important. Maybe I'll remember later.
Rarity blinked. That was all she did. She didn't breath, she didn't move: she simply blinked. It seemed that she wasn't alone, either; none of her friends said anything, but instead sat silently as that entry sank into their minds.
When the unicorn finally sucked air in, she breathed out the first words. "I don't know what to make of that."
"Me either," Applejack said.
"I'll tell ya what I think," Rainbow grumbled.
"We know what you think," her friend said in a warning tone, "But don'tcha think now's not the time for assumptions?"
"Do you really know what I think AJ? I think she's got some imaginary friend that's gone too far," the cyan mare snorted.
"I don't know what's gotten into you, but you need to put a cap on your attitude," Rarity said with a scowl.
"Yeah, well...I...I'm sorry guys," she sighed, "I'm just worried is all. Y'know, I care about Twi. I don't like seeing her like this."
"None of us do. And once again, that's why we're here. That's why we're doing this," the unicorn sighed.
Rarity took a deep breath in. "Um, any other readers?" she asked, glancing around the table with a nervous smile. After a few moments of silence, she sighed and looked back down to the book."Of course. The next one is June twenty eight..."
So it's true. They're avoiding me. Every time I ask them to come over, it's always a delayed response, followed by some sort of excuse! I bet they go over to each other's house almost every day, and yet they just ignore me! Well fine, I'm happy with Morning anyways!
Spike's gone back to Canterlot. I also haven't heard from the Princess for a while. I bet he and she are trying to bring me back. They're against me, and I know it. Maybe not the Princess...she's nice I guess. She and I go back.
My train of thought is gone again. And a new one arrives. And another and another and another! I just want it to stop! I can hardly sleep now. And Morning isn't helping much anymore either. She's getting nasty, and snapping at me if things get too over the top. I'm starting to feel sick again... I think I
"Oh my...that's what this is..." Rarity pushed the book back, turning away from a tiny stain on the paper. She gagged, tossing her head behind her and dry heaving.
"Don't be a wuss," the pegasus across from her said, snatching up the book and flipping the page. "Let me see..."
Rarity sneered, shaking her head as she came back up. She turned from the arrogant mare to Fluttershy. The timid pony offered a small smile in response, but said nothing.
"Look here, this one says July seventh. Listen to this..."
...Who am I? Who am I really? I don't feel like myself. I'm not seeing through my own eyes anymore, I'm looking through them...I feel so sick, but I don't. I don't feel at all, but I feel everything. Where are my thoughts? Why are they everywhere? My mind feels so empty, but there's too many thoughts to think.
Morning is here, and gone, but here. I'm looking at my hooves, but I'm not. These aren't mine. They can't be! I don't feel them. But I do.
"There's not more?" Rarity asked, grabbing the book and dragging it to her. Her friend shook her rainbow mane with a sigh.
"That was strange," was all Fluttershy said.
Rarity nodded, her eyes skimming the smeared cursive before her. "It was. Her...but 'not her'? I think she really has lost it..."
"So now that we all agree, can we quit this and actually do somethin'?" Applejack asked.
Rarity waved an objecting hoof. "No, wait. Here," she said, pointing down at a new page, "this one's different - vastly different. Listen to this..."
It's all slow; everything. Is. Slow. I can breathe. I can think, I can see with my own eyes. I don't know where Morning Dusk is, but...by Celestia, I've never felt worse. I feel normal, like my mind is my own, and it's sickening. It's awful, it's gut-wrenching. I can hold a steady thought, but the more I do, the worse I feel. I can't describe it; it's like I'm being flooded with so many emotions, but no thoughts to hold them all.
These moments of 'normality' are becoming a rarity - maybe it's for the best. I feel so sad, so cold, so angry...I don't think I've ever felt worse. I don't have control of my feelings, only my thoughts. I'm scared.
"I don't know what to think anymore. This gal's on and off like a light switch at a cider party," Applejack said, leaning on her hoof.
"I feel so bad for her..." Fluttershy said.
Rainbow leaned in with a flat look. "I'm with AJ here. I don't know what to think."
"Well let's not try to think at all yet. There's two more entries here," Rarity said. She flipped two more sheets between her hooves, exposing the newer ink to the wind. "If we can finish this up quickly, we'll all feel a bit better, yes? This one's at the beginning of the month. The first. Listen..."
She's yelling. What did I do? She says I'm not good enough, I need to be better, I don't study enough. I can't study anymore! I don't have any more thoughts! I can't remember what I studied last, it's lost in everything else. I don't even know what's going on in my head...
This isn't me. Not my body, not my mind. I feel so detached! And not even my friends care! I met them the other day, when they decided to quit ignoring me for a while. They wanted to 'help'. No one wants to help! It's a lie. They offer help, then they abandon me again. I know how it'll go.
Rarity took Spike the other day. He thinks I've lost it too. No...I haven't lost it. I haven't! Even Morning knows I'm normal, and she's busy screaming at me. But now all my 'friends' have their backs turned. Liars, all of them are liars!
I saw something. Just a little while ago, and I'm surprised I can remember it. It was an image. A nasty image, but I couldn't help it. It was them. They were all laughing. Each of them, just laughing. At me, I bet. That must be it. Then it was gone. Morning says I can see things, like the future or something.
I went to bed last night and was up all night. It sounded like screaming. Who was screaming? I don't know. I was in tears. I need a bath. Maybe a bath will help.
Rarity flipped the page, but not without saying, "She sounded...scrambled. Am I the only one who thinks so?"
"I think so. Poor girl," Applejack agreed.
"What's the last entry? I don't exactly know if I want to hear it," the cyan mare said as she bit her lip again. "But..."
"I understand. I'm a bit afraid of reading it myself. I think I'll need a trip to the spa after this, and maybe some dinner. I feel a bit under the weather," Rarity said. "But first, this is our friend. We need to do this."
A small chorus of agreement sounded from the table. "Alright then," she said.
"Last entry. August fifteenth-"
"That was yesterday..." Fluttershy squeaked.
"Indeed..." Rarity swallowed nervously. "August fifteenth..."
I just want it to stop why won't it stop? So sick I could die. Morning. SHUT UP! I feel lost. A corner. I know where I am but i feel lost. No light in the library, and its a mess. I got angry at Morning and i couldnt think. Now theres a mess and its not my fault! no one wants to help, i know that. Nothing to do. I'll just stay here.
Rarity shut the book with a forcible slam. "I don't want to read anymore. I believe I feel my lunch returning to haunt me..."
"That's how I found her," Applejack muttered, looking away. "I tried to help, but she swatted my hoof down."
"This is serious. This is very serious. I wonder how she is now..."
"We need to find out, don't you think? Pinkie, ya got the book?" Rainbow asked.
All eyes shifted to the pink mare. She was looking away with a glossy stare and blank face. Showing no sign of responding , the unicorn gave her a gentle nudge. Still nothing.
"Pinkie dear, all you all right? You've been so quiet I almost forgot you were here."
She snapped up, whipping around to the table. "Oh, yeah guys, I'm fine! That book? Okie Dokie Lokie," she said, bending under the table and pulling out a bright pink saddlebag that had three multi colored balloons on its side. She popped its golden latches open and slid a thick orange book from its holster. "Here ya go! Pony Psychological Reference Guide, same one Twilight lent me," she said with a wink.
"Thanks," Rainbow said with an estranging look. She took the book in her hooves and dropped it on its thick binding, letting it fall open to whichever page it so wished. What page it did fall to was no mystery; large black font at the top read Bipolar Disorder, and the page was severed with a metal balloon bookmark.
"Twi says I have some mental disorder or something," she said, swirling her eyes around in opposite directions. "Hope she doesn't too, cuz that would not be fun."
"Right, well I don't think she's bipolar," Rainbow said. She flipped a few pages up, letting them fall back with the help of the wind. On the new page, she examined the bold title. The words had trouble rolling off her tongue, but they were clear enough. "What about this? Dissociative Identity Disorder," she suggested. "Says something about having lots of personalities and names."
"I don't think so," Rarity said. "This 'Morning' is always referred to as somepony else, not Twilight."
"Uh, right," the pegasus said, flipping through more pages. After a bit of rustling, she settled once again. "What about Factitious Disorder?"
"It says: A disorder in which the sufferer will exaggerate the symptoms of a particular illness greatly."
"I don't think that's Twilight. She never told any of us what was wrong," Pinkie said, pondering it with a hoof beneath her chin.
Rainbow sighed and began scanning more of the book. "All right, well what about perfectionism?"
"Oh I have no doubt she's a perfectionist," Rarity said. "But I'm fairly sure that it's not what she's dealing with now."
The pegasus slouched and continued her search. After moments of flipping, her brow shot up. "Okay, then listen to this one. Schizophrenia: A disorder wherein the sufferer undergoes: delusions, such as thinking he or she is abandoned by loved ones or is hated by others; difficulty thinking, where the sufferer cannot concentrate and may drift from one thought to another rapidly; loss of control, such as the feeling of not controlling one's own body or thoughts; hearing voices, be they one or ten, helpful or destructive. Does that sound about right?"
"On the ball I'd say," Rarity said.
"That does sound about right..." Fluttershy added.
"What causes it?" the orange mare asked.
Rainbow bent down to the book once more, reading aloud, "Causes include: heredity of an affected parent; brain damage; use of recreational drugs; stress."
"Well the poor pony does suffer a good bit of head damage, and pretty often to boot..." Applejack said.
"And she isn't the most stable to begin with," Pinkie chimed with a shrug.
"Pinkie has a point. I think we've see something like this before. Does anypony remember her 'tardy' incident?" Rarity asked, looking around. She got four firm nods.
"So...genetic, maybe?" Rainbow suggested. "I mean, we've never actually met her parents, but..."
"It's possible. In all my work with animals, I've seen a good bit of hereditary disorders," Fluttershy said.
"Well hang on now, before we go on rambling about her parents, what if she's just stressed?" Applejack shrugged as if asking for opposition. "I mean, think about it. She spends most of her time studying, and all for the approval of the Princess and whatnot. And we all know what happens when she's afraid of losin' that."
Rarity scanned her friend with unsure eyes. "Dear, do you honestly think that could stress her out this badly for five months?"
"I don't know...but your sayin' it just sprung up outta nowhere. That can't be right, can it?"
"It 'sprung up' in under a day before," Rainbow retorted. "Five months is plenty of time for something like this."
"I agree," Pinkie said. "When Twilight gave me that book, she said that mental illnesses can take a while to develop. I dunno what she meant. But maybe it was this..." She still had her philosophical pose, embracing the wind with a puffed out chest and clenched jaw.
Applejack stuttered for a second, before finding actual words. "Well I'm stickin' to her just bein' stressed. But...either way, we need to think of somethin' soon. Every time we ask to help, she just turns us away..."
"Well then we'll just stop asking. It's about time she got some help. We wait any longer, and I fear the next diary entry..." Rarity pushed the little violet book away with a soft frown.
"Any plan?" the cyan pegasus asked, wiping the locks of her mane from her eyes.
"Yes. Well, no. Yes and no," the unicorn said, shaking her head in frustration. "Look, here's what I propose we do. We go in, find her, and..."
"I don't know. How are we supposed to deal with this?"
"We need to figure something out fast," Fluttershy said, looking to the sky. It was beginning to streak pink and orange, a sign that the sun was finally saying goodbye.
"Yeah, c'mon girls!" Pinkie said. She was already bouncing away, headed towards the main park, and eventually the town.
Rarity protested. "Pinkie, we don't have any sort of plan yet!"
But Applejack, Rainbow, and even Fluttershy were already joining her. "It's not like we'll get one by just sittin' around," the farmer said, tipping her Stetson to the wind.
The unicorn sighed, stood, and galloped after them, with the diary floating along beside her.
They stood outside the library, listening to the sounds that crept out of the little splints in the wooden door. It sounded like sputtering, confused talking that lacked syllables.
"She's lost it. Listen to that. I don't hear anything even close to a word," Rainbow said.
"It think that would be because of the door, Rainbow dearest." Then, from inside, the sound of something heavy slamming bellowed out.
The pegasus thought about it, then blushed and looked away. "I hope so."
"Right, well let's get in there. Pinkie, you first, seeing as you're the one with the mental stuff goin' on." Applejack turned to face her pink friend, but it seemed that the pony was once more lost in her own world, quietly watching the pink dusk fade to black. "Err, never mind. I guess I'm up."
She leaned on the door with all her might, and to her surprise, it opened as easy as ever. She fumbled over her hooves as she fell inward. With a harsh thump she smashed against the hardwood floor, getting a few good splinters and scrapes. Even still, she stood, her new injuries glow in the dim candlelight.
The others followed quickly behind her, flowing into the library foyer and frantically searching for their beloved friend. A few books were scattered on the floor - and one or two blankets and quills - but all together it was still rather well kept. The only think lacking was one lavender unicorn.
"I don't see her," Rarity noted.
"Maybe she's upstairs. Hear that? That's where the sounds are coming from," Rainbow said. She whipped up with her wings and darted to the upstairs door. Her friends raced up the curved stairs to meet her, where they heard sobs and angry words.
"Listen..." Rainbow whispered, pressing her ear to the door.
From inside she heard, "I don't care!...No...W-Why?...They wouldn't..."
"Let's get in there," Applejack said. She barged into the room, racing in and stopping halfway. The other four did the same, coming to a standstill with their friend.
There, on the darkening bed, Twilight was curled into a ball. Her mane was a wreck, and her fur was oily, matted, and reeked of something sour. She looked like she had been dipped in sweat and rolled in grease. It was all new, too; this was no compilation, this had happened today.
She snapped her head up, looking at them with a glossy, disoriented stare. She said nothing, and looked like she wasn't even paying true attention.
"Twilight darling, are...what..." Rarity's lips quivered as she tried to finish her sentence.
"What are you all doing here?" the unicorn asked in a hushed tone. Her voice was shaky, failing, and her eyes were unmoving.
"Twilight, we, um, we came to help," Fluttershy said.
"No you didn't..." the unicorn replied. "You- shut up!"
The five of them all backed up at her snap. "This is what we mean dear. You're worrying us."
"Yeah Twi, this...this isn't cool," Rainbow said with an uneasy gaze.
Twilight, her eyes still focused somewhere in the distance, said, "No it's not. You just come bursting into my room, saying- no. Every day..."
"Stop!" the unicorn cried. "All of you just- do you want- I don't need help."
They were silent now. This new silence was the thickest of all, with a sludge and stench of angst seeping through it. It was sickening, heart-wrenching silence, the kind that was found in the deepest, darkest places in Equestria. The mares shifted uneasily, all exchanging nervous glances. All, with the exception of Pinkie Pie, who had stepped forward with a stare that was a mirror to Twilight's.
There was no opposition to her advance. She simply strode up to Twilight, climbed up on the bed, and settled in next to her. She let her head carelessly fall to the side, landing on her friend's shoulder with a thump.
"It's okay," she said flatly, still staring out.
Twilight opened her mouth to respond, but was cut off.
"It's okay," the pink mare repeated. "I know how you feel."
There was a stillness about the room. Not even the breathing of six ponies could pierce the silence. It persisted for a minute, then two, and the aroma of dismay was as pungent as ever.
The unicorn let her own head fall now, landing atop the cushy, frothy mane of her pink friend. Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy all stared in partial disbelief. None of them said anything - none of them even moved.
Soon, a little shiny droplet trickled down onto Pinkie's face. She looked up to her friend, watching drop after drop slowly crawl down her scrunched face. Pinkie shifted, sitting up tall, and pulling the mare into a deep hug. The silence shattered now with long, deep sobs.
"I...I'm scared," Twilight cried into the pink coat. Pinkie just smiled and pulled her in deeper to her chest. The unicorn tried to talk again, but only muffled cries escaped her. Pinkie shushed her, holding her close.
The four awe-struck mares approached with quizzed looks on their faces. Fluttershy floated herself onto the bed and began to stroke Twilight's slick mane, but the other three stood next to Pinkie instead.
"How did you do that?" Rarity whispered. "I thought this would be ten times as hard."
Pinkie gave a small giggle and one of her best smiles, saying, "Well...sometimes we all just need to know that we're not alone."
She then turned back to Twilight, bending down to put her lips by the unicorn's ear. She was still sobbing into the pink coat before her, wrapped in her friends warm embrace. Pinkie smiled again. Softly, with a sweet voice and melodious hum, she sang.
[Special thanks to Fresh Blood, AwesomeSauce57, and the reviewers down at Ponychan. Check those guys out. They've done much for me, and deserve some more attention.]
Well, my own 'Morning Dusk' finally convinced me to write this. It may have helped that I am drinking, but either way, it made it's way to a word processor. Now before I get rambling, I'll just say that I wrote this for myself more than anything I've done before I think. And damn I feel better. All right, onward then.
Schizophrenia. That's what that was, but more to an...extreme, we'll say. That was very much extreme, and I'm well aware of it. I think the only way for me to amp it up any more would be to make her violent. For those of you who don't know, violent schizophrenia is an extreme.
Now I assume you people want an explanation for Twilight's crackdown? Well, the awful excuse that used to be here was deleted because I've gone back and actually done something about it. In fairness though, what you read was correct. It's causes and symptoms. Also, for those who don't know, voices affected people hear don't always tell them to go murder their lover/friend/second cousin twice removed. Sometimes it's actually a rather productive thing, like it was at the beginning of Twilight's diary.
Onto the ending. I had planned for there to be a huge argument. Words were going to fly, then at the end, Pinkie would pull her little caress. But then I got drunk. Oops.
And besides, ending's (especially this one for some reason) aren't my forte. I try, don't get me wrong. But they're pretty tricky to pull off.
Speaking of being tricky, Pinkie's personality is a pain to try to pull off correctly for me. Now so more than ever, because of how she was in the fic. It makes me a bit worried, actually, because she's one of the best ponies, and I felt like I haven't done her justice.
Also with this fic, I jumped the psychological-journal bandwagon. Why? Eh, I felt like it. It seemed like a good idea, so I hope it all worked.
All right, because I'm still drunk, I think it's a fine time to say that I appreciate the time you took to read this, and thank you. I hope this was at least fair quality-wise.
Art by: http://up1ter.deviantart.com/
[Sober Edit] I'm sober now. I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing or not, but it is what it is.
After a reread, I found that I didn't quite like how I portrayed any of the characters with the exception of Rarity, Pinkie, and Twilight. Also I see that a few of the sentences are a tad bit jumbled. Maybe I'll fix them later. And, because now I'm feeling good about this story for some reason, I think a rewrite may be in order to fix these problems. If not, then certainly some screwing around with the internals of the story.
If you think this wasn't that great of a story (I'm not drunk and brooding now, so I'll not be ragging on my story, because I rather liked it) then I urge you to tell me why. Input can only help, you know.
[Edited Edit] I've gone back and done a tiny bit of tinkering with it. Like I said, I really like what I've written here, so I'm doing my best to fix it up.