Twilight Sparkle has never felt so unsettled before. Last night, a disquieted Celestia gave her a bag and whisked her off, sending her by midnight train to the far away hamlet of Ponyville. Unlike her usual surprise tests, the Princess gave her only one instruction: The letter, sealed with the signet of the monarch goddess of Equestria and hidden in the luggage's secret compartment, is to remain unread until after the following sunset.
But she's the student of the Princess herself, after all; she's never let her down before, and she's never failed even the most punishing test. As the train races out of Canterlot, she assures herself that once she arrives, the letter will make her assignment in Ponyville clear. Besides - what's the worst that could happen?
A retelling of the initial episodes of My Little Pony as a low-fantasy picaresque. Heavily influenced by Dickens, Anno, Poe, Lovecraft, and Verne - plus one or two I can't mention without being very spoilery. My entry for Nanowrimo 2013.