It was a beautiful day in Equestria. The Sun was shining exceptionally bright and warm for its admirers. The Summer Sun Celebration was once again upon pony kind. Nearly everypony was busy preparing for it, be it decorating a venue, preparing food, clearing the weather for a clear sky, or just working on their intended apparel for the evening. This year’s celebration was more special than most too, for it was the 1000th of its kind, although, hardly anypony remembers what started it.
This brings us to the one pony who was not preparing for the sure to be fun times ahead; a lavender unicorn with a straight blue mane, a pink and purple stripe running through it. Said unicorn was in fact Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia’s star pupil, training in magic. Her cutie mark was evidence of her proficiency in magic: a pink star surrounded by six little white stars.
Now, she had just finished reading about the tale of Nightmare Moon’s banishment to the moon at the hooves of Celestia. Walking back to her personal library within Canterlot castle, she encountered three chirpy unicorn mares, each carrying a gift from a mare known as Moondancer.
“There you are Twilight,” said the middle pony. She had a white coat and a curly pink mane. “Moondancer is having a little get together in the West Castle Courtyard. You wanna come?”
All three mares leaned in to hear Twilight’s answer.
“Oooooo, sorry girls. I got a lot of studying to catch up on,” she replied, and with a sheepish grin, she galloped off on her way.
The white unicorn watched Twilight leave, then sighed and turned to one of her companions; a pony with a yellow coat and soft blue mane.
“Does that pony do anything except study?” Before her friend could reply, the white pony answered her own question, “I think she’s more interested in books, than friends.”
The three turned back around and continued towards the prior mentioned courtyard. As the gateway came into view, they passed under a large-ish tree. All of a sudden, a Pegasus stallion came swinging, upside down, in front of them. His vibrant green coat had helped him hide amongst the leaves. He bore a large, if not manic, toothy grin. His yellow eyes didn’t help, being wall-eyed generally unnerved ponies more.
“Gah! What the hay, Suke?” the middle pony once again speaking for her friends. She did that a lot.
“Just thought I’d, you know…” Suke waved a hoof to ask the mare to finish his sentence.
She sighed again. She did that a lot too. She knew too many sigh-worthy ponies.
“EXAC- Oof!” His outburst shook his tail loose from the branch it was hanging from, and he’d fallen, muzzle first, into the ground. His completely untamed mane, a vibrant blue, smothered his face. Suke bounced back up onto his hooves, one pointed at Little Miss Sighs-a-lot. “EXACTLY!” I might add that his mane also righted itself, now sticking up at silly angles.
“Now that you’ve done so, literally, what are you doing here? I thought you moved to Ponyville months ago.”
“Oh Twinkie-” That was her nickname, “Twinkie, Twinkie. Can’t a pony visit his good old friends back in Canterlot? I know I didn’t like the stuffy city, but the ponies I knew are worth the trip.” To prove his point, he quickly knelt, took hold of Twinkie’s hoof and kissed it. He was stood on all fours again before the mare could react. “Now! Worked your way onto Moondancer’s guest list I hear. That’s nice.” Suke had started to absent-mindedly hover. “I like what you’ve done with your mane and tail Pastels.”
The yellow unicorn started to say, “My names not-”
“And Miss Minuette! Did you know there’s this stallion in Ponyville who has the exact same cutie mark as you? Isn’t that just crazy?”
The third mare, a light blue pony with a half-dark blue, half white mane, began to reply, “Well, not re-”
“Funny guy that one. Derpy seems to like hanging with him.”
“How is she?” Twinkie managed to squeeze in.
“She’s super! Seems to be having fun. Always running around with that stallion like their tails were on fire.”
‘Pastels’ opened her mouth.
“Ditzy’s fine… I think. Still sleeping off the Winter Wrap-Up incedent. Every year, she gets lost. Poor Dinky’s having to look after her. The little filly’s starting school this year didn’t you know?”
“Well that’s-” Minuette.
“Mad isn’t it. Just love my family. Even my parents. Forgive and forget. The looks on their faces when I said that. Priceless!”
By now, Suke was flying in a small pattern of circles. He did this as often as Twinkie sighed, so the three mares paid no attention to it. They even ignored one of the other main oddities about him: his vibrant red tail. Not often that you see a pony with differently coloured manes and tails.
“We’re gonna be-” ‘Pastels’.
“Late? Don’t mind me then.” Suke stopped circling. “Gotta get back to my other friends back in Ponyville. You really should come visit sometime. There’s this other Pegasus mare you gotta meet. She’s my housemate. Oo, oo, oo! And then there’s Pinkie Pie. Her parties are Legend- wait for it… -dary.”
“Oooookaaaaaay. We errr, we’ll just be off then.”
The three unicorn mares took a leaf out of Twilight’s book; smiled sheepishly, and galloping away.
“And they think Twilight’s weird. Oooooo! I wonder what she’s up to.”
The magic student in question was currently ordering her number one assistant, a purple dragon with green spines called Spike (-50 for originality, Miss Smartypants), to send an ‘urgent’ letter to Princess Celestia. Suke happened upon Twilight’s massive window just as she turned away from it. He’d caught a shocked expression on her face. An ear was placed against the window. It wasn’t needed, with Pegasus enhanced hearing but that’s how Suke rolled.
“Dusty old books!? DUSTY OLD BOOKS!? But- But- Equestria’s in danger. Lemme read that!”
The letter was magically snatched from Spike’s claws. Twilight feverishly ran her eyes over the letter’s contents.
“Friends? Friends won’t mean squat with eternal night. Spike! Take another letter!”
“YES! Now: Dear-”
She was interrupted by a knocking on her overly large window. There hovered a Pegasus of varying colours. Twilight vaguely recalled knowing someone of said colour pattern, though she couldn’t be sure. Her puzzlement must have shown, because the stallion turned away from her and waggled his flank, showing his cutie mark. On both sides, there was a white spiked circle (like a pointy gear). However, the mark on his left flank housed a bold, black, serif font question mark, but the one on his right flank had an exclamation mark.
“Ugh. What is it Suke?” Twilight asked, approaching her gigantic window.
Suke turned back to face her, held a hoof in between their shared eye line, and attempted to say something. Twilight heard nothing through her quintuple glazed window. She really liked her silent study.
“One do-…-ply tell a-… og on.”
Suke visibly sighed and flew off upwards and out of sight. And rather quickly out of site, considering the humungous window.
“Whatever.” Twilight closed her eyes and rubbed a hoof between her eyes. She about turned and opened her eyes. “Back to the letter Spike. Dear- ARGH!” Suke was right behind her.
“I said:” Suke held his hoof up again, mildly shaking it with each syllable. “One does not simply tell the Princess to jog on.”
“What does that mean?”
“Don’t complain and get on with her orders. Or requests if it so suits you.”
“Oh… If I must. How did you get in here anyway?”
Twilight stared daggers at Spike, who winced but continued to point upwards. Twi’s eyes followed his directions and came to rest upon the open window that her letter had left through.
“Well, I have to be off.” Suke chucked Celestia’s letter over to Twilight. She had no idea how he’d got it. “See you in Ponyville tomorrow.” And he was gone.
“Don’t you remember Twilight? Suke moved to Ponyville a few months back. ‘To get out of Stifling Central’.”
“Oh… Oh sweet Celestia! If he hasn’t come back, it means he’s found ponies like him. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
Suke heard Twilight’s moans of despair as he flew about like a madpony in the sky above the palace. Anypony paying him any attention would have watched him, flying in the general direction of Ponyville, go straight into a cloud at high speeds and not come at the other side. His action was also accompanied by a loud ‘ZOOP!’
In a house in Ponyville, located somewhere between SugarCube Corner and the town Library, there lived a couple of crazy Pegasi. One was currently out of said house, but the other was still there for the time being. She had a deep black coat, with a dark grey mane and tail; the mane had a hint of light grey. She had aquamarine eyes, also with a hint of light grey. Unlike a large majority of Pegasi, she had different coloured wings to her coat. Light grey inner feather and dark grey outer. Her cutie mark was of a ghost. More specifically, one that looked like a white blanket with holes cut for the eyes and mouth.
Ghostley Glow was reading calmly in a black beanbag in the front room to her shared house. It was past midday, and her housemate had implied he’d only be gone for the morning. Of course, Suke implying something could mean absolutely nothing. Sure enough though, a loud ‘ZOOP’ was heard from outside, followed by the odd gasps of surprise from adults, and cheers from foals.
Also, a rambunctious voice could be heard yelling, “Watch where you’re going! Almost took me out of the sky. So not cool.”
Well, that voice had decided how Suke was going to enter the house. Ghostley closed her book (the author being Edgar Allen Poe-ny) and pulled herself out of her comfy seat. Approaching the door, the mare picked up a thick cushion off the sofa. Tumbling and the joyful screams of foals got louder. Miss Glow simultaneously opened the front door and threw the cushion up in the air. Suke crashed into the cushion, which ‘cushioned’ his heads collision with the wall. He then bounced off and onto his own white beanbag, the cushion also somehow finding its way back onto the sofa.
“Welcome home.” Ghostley said, nonchalantly. She closed the door and returned to her reading location.
“N- N- Not cool?”
“Coolness just isn’t your thing. You’re more… well… hmmm… not got a word for it. Woulda thought I’d have one by now.”
“I- I… I have to get some sunglasses!” Suke charged out of the house again.
“Can’t say he doesn’t try,” Ghostley said to nopony in particular.
Now Ghostley Glow find Suke to be a bit too much… whatever he was, but don’t get her wrong. She had her own kind of madness. Her’s was just a bit more subtle, less slap-stick. And then there was the fact a good book kept her occupied. Suke could get occupied too. Ghostley began to giggle.
“Like with Rainbow Dash.” Again, to nopony in particular.
Ghostley began to hum as she read her book.
“I got Sunshiiiine; in a baaag…”
Suke was getting funny looks as he trotted home from the opticians; most likely because he was trotting, and calmly at that. He was now the proud owner of some slim lined sunglasses. He also went out on a whim and bought a pair of aviators for his housemate. Even if he wasn’t cool enough for RD, the new shades covering his eyes would at least help.
The Sun was about halfway between its peak position and setting. Suke checked his fur. It was a shade leaning towards emerald.
“’Bout quarter past 5 then.”
The ponies of the coltish lands were known for starting drinking from about now, early by Ponyville standards. He called this shade of green ‘Irish Green’.
He passed Rarity, who glared at him, or more precisely, his colours. She hated how his colours would change through the day, as well as the fact they generally clashed. Nothing suited him clothing wise except white, which was easy to dirty, and maybe black, but black wasn’t his thing. Suke just smiled back. Only thing Suke needed to wear was his new shades… and maybe a helmet every so often.
Suke entered his abode to find Ghostley still reading.
“Nearly done with that?”
“Almoooooooooost. DONE!” The book was clapped shut.
“Jolly good show! Catch.” Ghostley caught the aviators. “Now we’re both cooler.”
“I think we should start that club,” said the mare.
“You might have been too drunk to remember. We called it the Nuttahz club.”
“Wait… Wait… Vaguely. I recall demanding it be all in Capitals. The NUTTAHZ Club!”
The calmness of the book was fading away. Ghostley’s grin grew wider into a manic smile.
“We’ll get all the crazy folk together and shut this place down! And I shall be their QUEEN!”
“But what about me? I’m a founding member too.”
“I’ll think of something, but I must have the crown!”
“Whoop! Now we just need a club house!”
Ghostley immediately stopped in her queenly laughter.
“We ain’t foals y’know.”
“We need somewhere to gather, without the risk of other members raiding my- I mean- our fridge.”
Ghostley rubbed her chin. “Yeeeees. Somewhere to store trophies and such. I know! Let’s ask P-”
“HERE I AM!”
Neither of the two house-owners were shocked to see Pinkie Pie burst through the letter box. They both chuckled at her uncanny arrival.
“While I wanna join you guys in your own adventures, I have that twitchy feeling saying I’m gonna have my hooves full. I can lend you my old storage shed- well, when I say shed I mean house, but it’s not a house ‘cause nopony lives in it, so it’s just a really big storage shed, but not a big as Twilight Sparkle’s Library window in Canterlot, ‘cause that’s gigantanormous, and now I’m sorta confused, ‘cause I dunno who Twilight Sparkle is and-”
“We’ll take it!” Shouted both of them.
“Alrighty then! Lemme just clear it out tonight and I’ll take you there tomorrow morning.”
An explosion of confetti announced her departure.
“Dammit!” Ghostley blurted out. “Forgot to give her that bar napkin with sign design we were gonna hang up.”
“You drew it with the intention of putting it on our house? I know that sounds amazingly insane, but we’d get kicked out.”
“Does it matter now?” Ghostley found her saddlebags and searched them. “It’s not here. Sure I… She took it anyway.”
“Gotta love that gal ain’tcha. If she can’t join us properly, we’re still making her our mascot.”
A/N: The following was my original plan for starting the next chapter, but a block came upon me, and putting the failed start there as a new ending here is the only way I can think for solving the issue. READ ON!
“Wakey, wakey, Eggs and Bakey!”
It was mentioned earlier that Pinkie bursting through their letterbox did not shock Suke and Ghostly. They generally aren’t shocked, surprised, befuddled or in any way confused and/or surprised (whatever word you choose to describe it) by Pinkie’s logic defying stunts. I say generally, because (like probably all ponies in Equestria) when they’re asleep, they will most certainly scream in terror, or in Suke’s case, squeal like a little filly.
Pinkie had managed to relocate the other two to their kitchen, (sat upright I might add) cook some eggs and bake some cookies. All this while the clueless duo slept and sometimes snored.
“Sweet Celestia! Don’t do that! Ever! Or Else!” Suke shouted, blushing in embarrassment.
“Or else what Sukie?” Pinkie asked, completely unfazed.
“Erm… I don’t know, but don’t do it again. And stop calling me Sukie!”
“But that’s your name isn’t it?”
“I don’t like it,” he replied. He then mumbled, “Makes me sound like a girl.”
“You don’t need the name for that.”
Suke just grumpily stared at Ghostly. She however turned to Pinkie as the party mare served out breakfast.
“But seriously Pinkie; Suke may not have anything to threaten with, but I do.”
“I just call it the Gremlin.”
“Wow. Foreboding much?” said Suke.
“We got it Suke.”
“So, you like?”
The three ponies were stood outside the new clubhouse. Located just on the border of Sweet Apple Acres, the only thing that had changed about it was a massive sign just under roof level. It read ‘NUTTAHZ’, and each letter was either black or white, alternating, starting and ending in black. At either end of the word was Suke’s cutie mark, ‘?’ on the left, ‘!’ on the right. Centrally above the word was the upper half of Ghostly, frozen mid-maniacal laugh, fore-hooves slightly raised. On Sign-Ghostly’s forehead, there rest shaded aviator goggles.
“Not sure how you knew about our sunglasses, but that isn’t them.” Ghostly said, slightly disappointed in this minor imperfection.
“Are you sure?”
Ghostly reached for her sunglasses to find they’d been replaced by a matching pair of goggles to the sign.
“Not gonna question this.” She put them over her forehead. “Can we get a tour?”
“Okie dokie loki!”
A/N: (No. 2) Leaving the inside as a mystery, so as to have fun. Everyone writing for this thing can change it inside however they feel. I will say that it has an underground section (Unlimited floors for more creativity) in which the first is a Dormitory. All done. Now the next chapter will focus entirely on 'Mare in the Moon'.
Pinkie had left the newly founded NUTTAHZ to their own devices, claiming she had to be in town for something. She didn’t know what that something was, except important. The next few hours were then wasted away by getting lost in the labyrinthine underground. There were seemingly infinite levels. Ghostly and Suke had lost count of the number of floors they’d gone down. Each and every one of them was a blank canvas and a maze. The unlucky pair would still be struggling to trace their hoof steps back to ‘The realm of the living’, if it weren’t for a simply wonderful discovery; The Elevator.
And so, the mysteriously moving metal room carried them upwards, dropping them off in a little alcove in the clubhouse. Having been fed up with just Suke for company (don’t get her wrong. He’s an alright stallion in general. Just… prolonged exposure is a trial to say the least) Ghostly suggested they head back into town and see if there’s anything going on before the Official Sun Raising. As it turned out, there was: Twilight Sparkle’s surprise welcoming party. All was silent as Twilight entered the Tree Library.
“Huh, rude much?” Spike huffed.
“Sorry Spike, but I have to convince the princess that Nightmare Moon is coming and we’re running out of time. I just need to be alone so that I can study without a bunch of crazy ponies trying to make friends all the time. Now where’s the light?”
The Library lit up and everypony surrounding Twilight shouted, “SURPRISE!” Followed by party blowers and poppers going off. Twilight just moaned.
“So this is that unicorn you said you knew who’s Celestia’s ‘faithful student’?”
“Yeah. She’s all work and no play though; a real bore. There was this one time when- Oh My Gosh! They’re here too?”
Ghostly just managed to keep up with Suke as he flew over to three unicorn mares chatting to themselves.
“It certainly isn’t a Moondancer party but I suppose it’s still fun.” Said the pink haired one.
“Oh come on Twinkie! Give it some time, it’s only just started!” Suke said as he landed next to her.
“Hi! Didn’t know you were gonna be here.”
“Lemon thought we should give Twi some moral support. That and we all needed a break from the city.”
“Cool… cool… You guys haven’t met my housemate yet, so here; this is Ghostly Glow.”
“Charmed.” Said Twinkie. The other two nodded their agreement.
“And these mares here are Twinkleshine, Minuette and Lemon Hearts.”
“It’s nice to meet you all. Suke speaks highly of you.”
“You mean when he actually speaks sense?” Asked Twinkleshine.
“Hey. I’ll have you know that- Oh My Gosh! They’re here too?” And with that, Suke flew to another part of the party.
“Now that he’s gone; tell me about yourself Ghostly.”
“Oh, you can call me Ghostie or Ghost if you want. My friends usually do, and a friend of Suke’s is a friend of mine.”
“Then you can call me Twinkie. I must say, you seem oddly…”
“-Normal for someone living with Suke? I just have more self-control around new people. The time doesn’t call for it… yet.”
“Foreboding!” Suke yelled over the party.
“So what is it you do?”
“Well, my special talent is paranormal investigation. There’s a surprisingly large need for it in rural towns such as this one.”
“Oh really? Do tell.”
“Alright. My first case here was a few years back. Pinkie (the pony hosting this party) was just moving into Sugar Cube Corner (you should go there if you haven’t already) and the Cakes, who owned the place, said they’d give her a discounted rent offer if she could deal with a ghost problem in the spare room. So she comes to me and…”
The conversation went on throughout the night, the Canterlotians loving Ghost’s Ghost stories (as Suke called them), hanging on every word. In between stories, they briefly explained their jobs. Lemon ran a matchmaking agency, which went down well with all the rich folk in the cities. Twinkie was an astrologist who wrote the horoscope for three biggest Canterlot Tabloids, each under a different name. Minuette (or Mini) was between jobs. Her special talent was keeping time, and so had been a bigwig’s secretary and/or assistant, keeping track of his appointments. Said Bigwig got into a lawsuit and Mini lost her job. It did however give her time to train to be a dentist.
Time wore on and everypony started heading to the Town Hall. Suke had rejoined Ghost and co. on the way, just as another story was coming to an end.
“-and the red stuff was everywhere, sticking to everything; took a week to get it out of my fur completely. Yeah, the job was done, but never again will I cross the beams. None of the others seemed to realise how close we came to destroying reality as we knew it. They just trotted off on their way. I made it clear I didn’t want them working in Ponyville again. There’s good crazy, and then there’s just plain stupid crazy.”
“Wow.” The three unicorns said in unison.
“Dangerous work at times, but it pays the bills. Suke here doesn’t even have to work to pay the rent, do you lazy guts?”
“Nope. Guilt-tripped my parents. Well, half guilt-tripped, half offered a deal they couldn’t refuse. I went on about how if they didn’t want to look after us personally they could just send us each money to keep us out of their manes and look like they still care.”
“Of course. Your parents were always concerned over their image.” Twinkie remarked.
The Town Hall was packed to the brim with excited ponies. Suke flew up next to his sister Ditzy to have quick chat. Ghostly decided to stay on the ground, and overheard Pinkie talking Twilight’s ear off.
“-and I went *gasp*. But I mean, really? Who can top that?”
The animal caring Pegasus Fluttershy conducted her band of birds, announcing Mayor Mare’s arrival on the stage.
“Fillies and Gentlecolts. As Mayor of Ponyville, it is my great pleasure to announce the beginning of the Summer Sun Celebration!” All ponies present cheered, except for Twilight Sparkle, who looked concerned for some reason. “In just a few moments…”
Ghostly fazed the Mayor out as she noticed two things. Firstly, and most unimportantly, Suke and Ditzy were quietly giggling about something or other. Secondly, Twilight was looking even more worried as she looked up at the moon. Ghostly followed suit to witness the ‘Mare in the Moon’ vanish as four stars hid behind the Moon. Looking back down, Ghostly could now see a hint of fear in Twilight’s expression.
Mayor Mare’s voice continued, “- the Sun and the Moon each and every day. The good. The wise. The bringer of Harmony to all of Equestria. Princess Celestia!”
All eyes went up to the balcony as the fashionable Rarity opened the curtains, using her mouth instead of her magic for some reason. Behind said curtains was just empty space. Ponies gasped and whispered their confusion.
Twilight add to the voices with, “This can’t be good.”
“Remain calm everypony. There must be a reasonable explanation.”
“Oo, oo. I love guessing games! Is she hiding?” Pinkie tried looking under herself.
Rarity returned from the Halls back room. “She’s gone!”
More gasps along with Pinkie saying, “Ooooo, she’s gooooood.” And then she screamed.
A large midnight blue cloud of sparkling mist appeared on the balcony. Out of the cloud came an alicorn of pure darkness, one with the night, filled with jealousy.
“Oh Snap! Twilight was right all along!” Suke shouted.
“Oh my beloved subjects; it’s been so long since I’ve seen your precious, little, sun loving faces.”
“What did you do with our Princess?” demanded Rainbow Dash, always one to pick a fight with immortal deities. She even tried to charge the alicorn.
Her good friend Applejack held her back by the tail. “Whoa there nelly.”
“*Insert evil laugh* Why? Am I not ‘royal’ enough for you? Don’t you know who I am?”
“Oo, oo.” Pinkie Pie again. “More guessing games. Erm, Hokey Smokes. How about: Queen Meanie. No! Black Snooty! Black Snooty!” Applejack, ever the multi-tasker, managed to shove a cupcake in Pinkie’s mouth.
“Doesn’t my crown count, now that I’ve been imprisoned for a thousand years? Did you not recall the legends? Did you not see the signs?”
“I did!” declared Twilight, just as Suke pointed at her and said:
“She did!” Twilight gave Suke an annoyed look. “Sorry.”
“And I know who you are. You’re the Mare in the Moon; Nightmare Moon.” More gasps. I swear that’s all they really do this episode- I mean… just more gasps.
“Well, well, well. Somepony who remembers me. Then you also know why I’m here.”
“You’re here to… to…”
“Mwahahahahaha! Remember this day little ponies, for it was your last. From this moment forth: The Night. Will last. Forever!” More evil laughter. Indoor lightning. Sense of doom.
“So cliché,” Ghostly muttered to herself.
Don’t worry; I wasn’t going to end it there. Just thought I’d pause for dramatic effect.
So Nightmare Moon left, or fled according to Rainbow Dash. The pony with a death wish tried giving chase but the now cloud of sparkling mist got away. Most ponies galloped home to lock themselves in, herd instinct and so on. Ditzy mentioned something about how her friend may know something about all this and went to find him. A strange little orange colt unicorn seemed unfazed and merely walked out as if he had prior made arrangements that he intended to be fashionably late for.
As Twilight galloped off to her library, undoubtedly to find an actual solution instead of just hiding, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie followed her, leaving Ghostly and Suke by themselves.
“Aww sweet! The buffet table’s still got loads left. Thank you Miss Moon!”
While he stuffed himself, Ghostly pondered on what to do.
“We should find some way to help.”
“Well.” Suke swallowed another mouthful. “Twilight’s probs gonna go after the Elements of Harmony.”
“Twilight was reading about all of this yesterday in Canterlot. Overheard her talking to herself, as she does it frequently, and said something about Elements of Harmony being used last time.”
“Oh… Ok. Any idea where they are?”
“Everfree forest would be my guess. There are some old ruins there and the last librarian told me they’re the remains of the old royal castle. Rumour is that Celestia left the Elements there, not wanting to touch them after having to use them on her own sister. Kinda stupid leaving them unguarded like that.”
“I… just… when have you paid enough attention to know this?”
“When I first moved here. Wanted to know the area. Wouldn’t your job take you there anyway?”
“Nopony goes into Everfree, so they wouldn’t know if there were paranormal activities going on. I certainly wouldn’t go in there without somepony paying me.”
“Then what do we do now?”
An idea came to Ghostly, light bulb and all. “Nightmare Moon never said anything about having captured or defeated Celestia. We should find her.”
“Well, the only places I can think of for where she’d be are here, but evidently not according to Rarity, Everfree, which is out of the question, and Canterlot.”
“But that’s miles away!”
“Oh psssh.” Suke said as he lead Ghostly out of the Hall, the buffet table now crumbless. He positioned himself for launch. “Quick! Grab my tail!” The way he said it made Ghostly mindlessly do so. They took off at an amazing speed while Suke shouted:
Glass everywhere, Suke spread out on the opposite wall, his head spinning, Ghostly somehow on all fours, staring at an Alicorn sun-bathing on an indoor beach with its own miniature Sun. A swimming pool was at her hooves, about a hundred square hooves in size. The alicorn, Celestia, was on a deck-chair, with a levitating iced drink by her face. It had a straw, which was in a state of limbo, mid-sip, as the Princess of the Sun stared over her sunglasses (styled like John Lennon’s, although most ponies wouldn’t know that).
The drink was eventually lowered, and then Celestia’s magic enveloped the glass shards, fixing the damage. Once the window was repaired, the sound of ice clinking on glass and pouring liquids were heard out of Ghostly's view, her eyes still fixed on her Princess. At the same time, Suke was peeled off the wall. Both he and Ghostly were levitated on to (newly apparent) additional deckchairs and handed drinks.
"So, my little ponies, how goes the celebrations in Ponyville?"
Celestia wore an odd grin. One that seemed knowing yet enquiring. Ghostly had seen it once or twice before. In a mirror before a pulling off a prank usually. Suke had a word for it... what was it again? Ogre? No, that wasn't it...
"Troll." Ghostly blurted out, albeit quietly.
"What was that dear?"
“She says you’re a troll, and to be honest I can see what she means. What in your name are you doing here with your Sister back with a vengeance?” Suke added, enjoying his drink.
“Having a well-earned break from everything.” Suke and Ghostly would have dropped their drinks if Celestia wasn’t holding them in place with her magic. “And besides, I can’t go letting the populace get lazy and dependant. You never know when deities might get bored and just off and leave.”
Suke was the first to recover, chuckling slightly. “You know, that’s hilariously true. I suppose you have the utmost faith in your ‘faithful student’ to solve the situation?”
“Oh, most definitely. Then again, I’ve been wrong before about my subjects. She might be so stubborn as to actually not accept any help from those I arranged for her to meet.”
Ghostly finally spoke up. “You mean those five we saw earlier were-”
“Yep. All planned out; except for the pink one. Didn’t have to with her Pinkie sense on the prowl. They’ll have their problems here and there but all’s well that ends well and so on.”
“Welp! With that sorted I’m gonna-”
Suke abruptly began giggling uncontrollably mid-sentence, one fore-hoof pointed at Ghostie, the other clutching his chest. It died down slowly and Suke had to wipe a tear from his eye, letting out a satisfactory sigh.
“Sorry; had this sudden urge to ‘Giggle at the Ghostie’. As I was saying though, I’m gonna head off to watch those six mares hopefully succeed in their mission. It’ll be a lot more fun than sitting around and waiting. You coming Ghostie?”
“Oh, do stay Miss Glow. I would love some company.” Celestia had that grin again.
“Well, seeya then.” Suke bowed in mid-air towards Celestia. “Until another time, Princess Trollestia.”
Glass was broken again. As ‘Trollestia’ repaired it once more she turned to Ghostie. Ghostie smiled at the look of slight confusion on the Princess’s face.
“You’re stuck with that name now. I quite like it too.”
“I can only hope that he keeps it to more private encounters.”
“Don’t keep your hopes up.”
The room fell into silence, bar the sound of ice on glass and the sloshing pool. Ghostie didn’t like having to sit here, but she didn’t seem to have a choice in the matter. Trollestia smiled contently, her eyes hidden behind her sunglasses. Ghostie could sense an encroaching feeling of random emotions. She needed to have some fun, stat! The Princess leant back, at peace. Target acquired. The goggles came down over the Pegasus’ eyes.
“So what do you want to… do…? Miss Glow?” Trollestia had turned to make conversation with her now missing bathing companion. “Now where’d she go?”
I was about to switch over to see what Suke was up to, but I remembered this chapter wasn’t about him. All you need to know right now is he found the girls giggling their way through the forest, looking after themselves fine. He then heads over to meet Nightmare Moon and converse with her while they waited. Of course, I could narrate it in more detail, but I think you’d prefer the ninja torment of Trollestia (as she will be known out of company) over Suke chatting it up with the baddie; I know I would. But for those that would prefer Suke (you ungrateful cretins) know that I’ll cover it some other time. Maybe as a flashback, maybe in song, who knows?
We now return to Trollestia’s private indoor swimming pool to see the beginnings… of… Dammit, Ghostie jumped the gun! Fine then. I’ll just Ad lib. Trollestia looked around warily, not knowing where the crazed Pegasus would strike next. Over by the two doors to the separate changing rooms, there lay a chalkboard eraser and an empty bucket surrounded by its former contents, water. (Why there were changing rooms in the first place, no one but the Princess knows.)
The doors had been slightly ajar, so the Princess had curiously opened one, only to be hit on the head by the eraser. The chalk dust came into contact with Trollestia’s flowing mane and atomised. The room was empty. The second room was entered with more caution, yet the bucket still managed to remain undetected until it was too late. Any water that struck her mane evaporated, but her coat got soaked. Upon finding this room to also be empty, Trollestia had returned to the poolside to find a note attached to her deck chair. It read, in large, wobbled script: ‘This is only the beginning’.
Presently, the lights cut out, or in this case, Ghostly somehow managed to block off the Sun’s rays from the rest of the room, yet maintain the previous temperature. It was pitch black and toasty, all in one. The only light now was the Princess’s natural glow, reaching maybe a couple of hooves out into the dark. Trollestia couldn’t fathom how this was possible, and while trying to explain this phenomenon she almost missed the music that began to play. It had a morbid beat, shortly joined by lyrics.
“Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo… I ain’t happy but, I’m feeling glad. I got sunshine, in a bag. I’m useless, but not for long, the future, is coming on-”
The lyrics began repeating, and over it, maniacal laughing, like that of a mad queen, could be heard. No source could be discerned for the music or Ghostly’s voice.
“-Finally someone let me outta my cage!-”
A brief gust of air brushed past Trollestia’s tail. She turned around, quick as a whip. There was a clonk and a squelch as her hoof stepped in a metal container (probably another bucket) filled with something sticky. So sticky, in fact, that the hoof could not be removed. Another gust, this time accompanied by a pair of slaps on Trollestia’s flanks, right where her cutie marks were. The free front hoof went up to feel some irremovable paper covering a flank. A glance told her she now looked like a blank-flank.
Movement right in front of her. Magic went out to find the culprit. Not a trace of presence. The Princess sighed and lowered her head. Suddenly, she jumped back, stumbled and landed on her backside.
“-Sit and lose-”
Scratched into the floor ahead of her, glowing in the dark, was the word ‘BOO!’ Trollestia was now breathing heavily. The combined atmosphere of music, lack of light and the impossibility of the situation were stopping her from thinking clearly.
“-You think it's fictional. Mystical? Maybe. Spiritual? Hearable. What appears in you is a clearer view 'cause you're too crazy-”
“Miss Glow. If you could please halt this nonsense, it would be most appreciated.” Trollestia failed miserably in hiding the irrational fear in her voice, the words coming out rushed.
“-Priceless!-” Ghostly shouted in time with the song.
There was a click and a flash; Ghostly had just taken a photo and Trollestia knew it. The song’s chorus began again. The lyrics to it showing up randomly like the other one had earlier, scratched in and glowing. Trollestia sensed out her Sun and started galloping towards it as fast as she could, considerably slower than hoped due to the metal bucket attached to her hoof. Something long and thin obstructed her hooves, and she fell, muzzle first, into what felt like a cake. She pulled away to see it was indeed the remains of a cake. A lick of the lips made it evidently a badly made cake; disgusting in fact. How was she falling for such tricks? They were so… so… SIMPLE!
“-The essence, the basics-”
Another photo was taken, yet Trollestia still couldn’t sense Ghostly’s presence. Shakily, she got back onto all fours. Fear was slowly beginning to be replaced by frustration, with a hint of anger. She doubted Ghostly would show the pictures to anypony other than maybe Suke, but there was always the chance they’d be seen by somepony important, or, Faust forbid, Twilight! Her student might just as well murder Miss Glow, and possibly all of Ponyville in her rampage. Mass equicide! Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, oh-
“-Corruption in disguise-”
Was that a jab at her?
“-Now I’m sucking to your lies-”
That most certainly was. A sound was heard. A metaphorically fatal mistake on Ghostly's behalf, as far as Trollestia was concerned. She silently (metal bucket and all) followed the direction of the sound. It sounded like the Pegasus had fallen in the pool and was flailing to get out. Only, the sound stopped when Trollestia reached the poolside. The water seemed only mildly disturbed. Another noise, directly behind. Her body turned ninety degrees, her head turning the remaining ninety. Nothing.
“-No squealing, remember-”
Ghostly appeared literally right in front of Trollestia’s muzzle. The Princess's wide-eyes expression could be seen reflected on the goggles.
She whispered loudly with the song, “-That it’s all in your head!”
Admittedly, no squealing ensued. No, it was the piercing screams of a deity that came to Ghostly’s ears, the force of which blowing her a good few metres away. Trollestia’s hooves scuttled, tripping over each other. With a mighty splash, the Mistress of the Sun stumbled into the pool water with the grace of a ballet dancer with four super left (lefter than left) hooves, said ballet dancer being high, drunk and physically ill, all in zero G. Needless to say, grace in the negatives, anti-grace if you prefer.
As it turns out, the sound Trollestia had heard coming from the pool was Ghostly noisily pouring chalk into the water. She could’ve done it silently as with everything else, but you may have guessed the noise was a lure; hook, line and sinker really. The sheer volume of chalky water overpowered Trollestia’s mane. She managed to climb out of the pool, mane and tail no longer flowing, but now stuck to her and as white as her coat; a ghost of her former self. The music was fading with a short lyrical repeat. The Sun was uncovered. The manic prankster was manic no more. Where once there was a gremlin was now a joyously laughing mare. Trollestia’s eye twitched.
“That. IS. IT!”
A wave of energy burst forth from the Princess. Her mane and tail were alight, the pool was filled with hot mist, any and all blemishes incurred upon her vanished. The scratchings were wiped clean. Ghostly was silent.
“WE SHALL NOT BE RIDICULED SO! ARE WE NOT ALLOWED REST EVERY CENTURY OR SO?! WE HAVE SERVED YOU, AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO ETERNALLY! IS THAT NOT ENOUGH?!”
The shock of Trol- er, Celestia’s switch to the long disused Royal Canterlot speech prevented Ghostly from feeling fear. As her Princess breathed heavily, she just blinked. Celestia’s mane and tail returned to their flowing glory, and her face calmed.
“I am sorry. That was uncalled for.”
“I’m sorry Prin-”
“No, don’t say it. You were right that I shouldn’t be taking advantage of my student. Your methods, as unorthodox as they were, brought about the right outcome… sort of.”
“So you’re going to apologise to Twilight and her friends too?”
“Oh Heavens no! I shan’t sacrifice my image. She does not need to know. I’ve learnt my lesson… although, I can’t be held responsible for when I might… let myself go again.”
Celestia teleported right in front of Ghostly, staring down at her. The regal eyes demanded obedience.
“NEVER speak of this again in the company of anypony. Except maybe with Suke, BUT nopony else. Am I making myself clear?”
The Princess looked towards the window. “It seems I was right to trust Twilight in the end. They were successful, and now I must raise the Sun once more.”
The Sun vanished from within the room and began to rise over the horizon outside the window. Then the two ponies were swallowed up in Celestia’s magic. The next thing Ghostly saw was the inside of what she assumed were the ruins in Everfree Forest. Twilight and her friends were there, wearing varying jewelled necklaces, bar a tiara on Twilight. The friends bowed, revealing Suke sat at the back waving happily at Ghostly.
Twilight gasped. “Princess Celestia!”
“Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student; I knew you could do it.”
“But-” started both Twilight and Suke.
Twilight turned in surprise to see the stallion, apparently not knowing he’d watched the whole fight. Ghostly made rapid hoof movements, signalling to Suke to keep his thoughts to himself. The others didn’t see while still bowing.
“Sorry, carry on,” He said.
“But you told me it was all an old pony tale?”
“I told you that you needed to make some friends, nothing more. I saw the signs of Nightmare Moon’s return, and I knew it was you who had the magic inside to defeat her.”
“But-” Suke started again.
Ghostly zoomed over to him and shoved a hoof in his mouth.
“Sorry everypony. You just carry on while I have a quick chat with my own friend here.”
She guided Suke slightly down the stairs.
Whispering, “Don’t mention anything to anypony about what we saw in Canterlot. Don’t ask me why just yet. I’ll tell you later, when we get back to the house. Alright?”
Suke nodded. Ghostly finally removed the hoof from his mouth.
“What did I just say?”
Suke closed his mouth. They returned to the others.
“-Princess Luna!” Celestia finished.
Luna gasped. (Seriously, what is it with ponies and gasping?)
“It has been a thousand since I have seen you like this. Time to put our differences behind us. We were meant to rule together little sister.”
“Sister?” asked the Mane Six.
“Well duuuuh.” Suke commented. Ghostly gave him an angry glare. “What?”
“Will you accept my friendship?”
Luna considered the proposal, still looking like she scared and hopeless. The Mane Six all leaned in anxiously, Pinkie leaning so much so that she fell over.
“I’m so sorry! I missed you so much big sister.” Luna ran to her sister and cuddled, tears running down her face.
Celestia cried as well. “I missed you too.”
Suke and Pinkie started crying loudly, tears gushing out like fountains.
Shortly, Pinkie stopped with a dry face. “Heeeeey.”
“What?” Suke had also stopped, but had to wipe tears from his eyes.
“You know what this calls for?”
Everypony’s eyes widened in knowing. Somehow even Luna knew what was coming.
Confetti went everywhere. The whole town had instantly been prepped for the event. All the town’s ponies ran to greet Celestia and Luna as they arrived by a guard drawn chariot. Spike ran up to Twilight for a hug. The Diarchy approached the townsfolk, who all bowed. A couple of Pegasus fillies placed flowers around Luna’s neck. She just stared at the flowers, looking rather befuddled.
“All’s well that ends well, right Ghostie?”
“So, you gonna tell me why I had to stay quiet about Trollestia? And maybe what happened while I was gone?”
She did, very quietly. Only a young orange unicorn colt overheard them, as everypony else was distracted by a conversation between Celestia, Twilight and company. Then there were cheers when they finished. Twilight had been allowed to stay in Ponyville to study friendship. Pinkie disappeared. Suke and Ghostly could make her out on a hillock out of town seemingly talking to nopony at all.
Eventually, she came back and the party truly started there and then. Suke went off and pestered the three unicorn mares from Canterlot again. Ghostly got talking with a white Pegasus stallion. I say talking when it was actually that Ghostly was enjoying her own company, the stallion approached, and then he started talking… a lot.
The party went on until everypony watched Luna raise the Moon for the first time in a thousand years. Then they all went home. However, just as Suke and Ghostly were about to unlock the door to their house, a dark magic engulfed them. They found themselves face to face with the Princesses.
“Very good Luna. All limbs accounted for. And you said you’d be rusty.”
“Oh, sis. You’re making me blush.”
“No, seriously. You’ve raised the Moon in front of a whole town, and now you’ve teleported two ponies you only met briefly, without knowledge of their precise whereabouts.”
“I’m sorry, but could somepony tell us why we’re here?” Ghostly asked.
“Oh yes, sorry.” Celestia summoned a bag about the size of an average mare’s head, and a rolled up letter. “For helping us in our time of need, I hereby grant you these gifts.” The items floated to Ghostly. “Sukie Doo, come forward.” He did so without question. Celestia tapped her horn to his forehead. “Now the gifts are given.”
“Are these bribes for our silence?”
“Indeed they are,” answered Luna. “Now, my sister tells me you took some undesirable photos. We want every single copy so that we may destroy them.”
“Oh, those? The films were empty from the beginning. Just part of the tricks.”
Silence. “Oh,” said Celestia. “…Good. We shall be off then. Good night Miss Glow and Sukie Doo.”
And then they were back in front of their house. They went inside and sat in the front room.
“What’s in the bag then?”
“Just give me a second.” Ghostly struggled with the knot. “Stupid hooves.”
The knot came loose. Ghostly peeked inside, only to receive a fierce blast of sunlight to the face. If it weren’t for the goggles she’d yet to remove since Canterlot, Ghostly would have been blinded.
“SWEET PONY JESUS!” She screamed as she closed the bag.
The knot was tied back up. The dark coated mare ran to the kitchen to wash her face with cold water.
Suke read the now unrolled letter aloud,
“Dear Ghostly Glow and Sukie Doo.
If I have guessed right, Miss Glow has discovered the contents of her gift. I vaguely recall hearing a song she quite liked recently, and believed this gift to be appropriate considering. As for Mister Doo’s gift, might I suggest saying what I just know you’re itching to say, accompanying actions included to give the full effect?
P.S. Luna has told me about the conversation that happened between Suke and Nightmare Moon before her demise. That conversation may just have been what altered the outcome of the battle, ending in a purified Luna, and not another thousand year banishment. Thank you.”
Ghostly came back, rubbing her face sorely with a towel. “What on Earth did you say to cause that?”
“Dunno. We just talked.” Suke replied as he prepared his sunglasses in one hoof.
“That… actually makes sense now that I think about it. Wait, what are you doing with those? Oh Hell! You’re not gonna say it are you? The Princess probably booby trapped them. DON’T!”
“Looks like you’ve got-” The sunglasses went on. “-Sunshine, in a bag.”
From out of nowhere came an almighty, “YEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” Followed by some guitar heavy music.
The two Pegasi found themselves stood in mid-air as scenes of an unknown city, filled with strange machines and creatures, flashed by behind them.
“Wh-… B-… Oh, I give up.”
Ghostly started walking in the direction that used to go to her bedroom, bumping into their invisible furniture and walls on the way. Suke had turned around to watch the scenes in awe. Names appeared with apparently important creatures in focus.
He took the sunglasses off to see clearer, but then everything went back to normal. Putting the shades back on did nothing and neither did repeating the joke in whole.
Suke followed Ghostly upstairs. The unicorn colt left the window he was looking through and wandered off. The talkative Pegasus stallion from earlier slept soundly in his own bed, talking in his sleep about some random meal he liked.
Next time on ‘Dat Plot’:
“Why aren’t you chasing Twilight for her extra ticket? You’d probably get it with your erratic flight pattern.”
“I have a better plan!”
“Do you like camping? I like camping. Why are we camping here? What are those goggles for? Ooooo, Princess Celestia.”
“Wow… I mean, just… Wow. I look at you and that placid face and expect something like ‘I like Trains’ and then a gruesome death by train, but that!? That was just dark. And with that innocent looking face too. You’re a creeper… and now that I think about it, you’re a keeper!”
A/N: Took a while and went waaaaaaaaay over what I originally expected to write, but hey! SHINY! The others should be shorter considering they’re one parters. Also, I realise I've used "But-" quite a bit. Sorta become a catchphrase.