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The Mailmare

By theamberfox

Chapter 1

“Alright Miss Hooves,” asked the detective, leaning forward in his chair and peering over the table at me, “as you may already know, we have nearly a hundred eye witnesses claiming that you are solely responsible for bringing the terrible Nightmare Moon back into our peaceful country. Do you deny this claim or do you indeed accept responsibility for this disastrous event?”

Smiling only slightly, I carefully nodded my head, “No, I guess that’s true sir. I am responsible for that, but you can’t ignore that Trixie did help me.”

The detective sifted through several papers lying on the table directly in front of him, slowly moving them from a small pile on his right to a much larger pile on his left.

“While the department agrees that Trixie did play some part in this mishap, we have enough evidence to suggest that she was not the primary influence.” the detective said, not bothering to look up as he continued to work through the pile of papers.

In the brief silence that followed, I looked into the large mirror on the wall beside us, but my reflection was one that I hardly even recognized. I was wearing that fantastic purple hat on my head, its surface beautifully decorated with blue and yellow stars of various sizes. And my coat, partially hidden beneath the stained black suit I wore, was still a faint violet colour instead of the dull grey I had grown accustomed to. I wonder how hard it’s going to be to get that colour out.

“Now since you’ve already admitted to your crimes, the department doesn’t actually need any more information from you,” the detective continued, raising his head, and his gaze, back towards me, “but I must admit that you’ve piqued my curiosity, Miss Hooves. Just how exactly did you manage to rouse one of the most villainous ponies in history… at the Annual Magic Users Convention?”

I grinned, “Well, I guess it all started yesterday, at a meeting with my boss not entirely unlike this one…”

~

“An anvil?” the dreary grey stallion asked in disbelief, his bewilderment replacing any and all irritation he should have had with me. “You dropped an anvil on somepony?”

I looked directly back at him and hesitantly admitted, “Um... yes…”

“And a piano as well?”

“Yes,” I nodded before quickly adding, “but it wasn’t a grand piano.”

The expression on his face, his furrowed brow, the long wooden pipe dangling out of the side of his gaping mouth, his huge fluffy white beard and mane… it was expressing his confusion almost too well and I must admit, the whole situation was beginning to make me smile like a complete nincompoop.

Trying to regain my composure before I started laughing, I opened my mouth once again, “I also dropped a pot of flowers and-”

“Enough!” he shouted, interrupting me quite rudely.

The postmaster never seemed to appreciate my joyful exuberance, or any facet of my life for that matter, and thus, I never came to appreciate any of his characteristics either. And though I now consider him to be a truly detestable stallion, I still remember the day I was first hired and the glow of his bright smile which had filled the room. Indeed, he was much more spirited back then, so completely full of life. But shortly after I started actually working with him, his attitude worsened. I could have sworn that his appearance during my interview was merely a façade, a cruel act that he used to lure unsuspecting victims into his den of pure evil, but my coworkers quickly tossed that theory aside. Each and every one of them said he wasn’t like this before, but that something unexpected, terrible and altogether catastrophic must have happened to him recently, perhaps even the very same day that I was hired. However, I still have no idea what that life-altering event may have been.

“Enough, Miss Hooves.” he repeated. “I’m trying to be sympathetic, but as usual, you are not making it easy for me. In the past week you’ve misdelivered thirteen of your letters…”

His words abruptly pulling my wandering attention away from the stallion’s past life, I tried to understand what he was getting at. Thirteen was definitely an unlucky number and though it never even crossed my mind that the postmaster was a superstitious pony, it would make a lot of sense. It would certainly explain why he was always knocking on his oversized wooden desk whenever he spoke with me. But I always believed he was far more forceful than was really necessary, the stallion slamming his hooves so violently upon the desk that he severely dented and scratched the previously perfect surface.

“Misplaced seven more…” he went on.

But if he was superstitious, surely he would have realized that seven was a lucky number. Wouldn’t that have cancelled out the negative energy of the previous number? In fact, I considered seven to be ‘very lucky’ and thirteen to be only ‘kind of unlucky’, so the luckiness would have easily offset the unluckiness of the situation, therefore creating an overall result of ‘kind of lucky’...

Or was it ‘almost lucky’? Math was never my greatest subject in school.

“And now I hear about this incident? Miss Hooves, you are very fortunate that mare isn’t going to sue us for that.”

“Who?” I asked, my smile falling.

The postmaster was obviously going off on some strange tangent now, his inane mutterings irrelevant to the topic of luck.

“The one you dropped the anvil on.” he said plainly. “I don’t know her name, but I hear she’s a very important pony.”

I flashed a strange glance back, “Why would I drop an anvil on-”

“Miss Hooves!” he shouted aggressively, slamming on his desk and crudely interrupting me yet again.

There were many things I disliked about the postmaster, but none more than his constant interruptions. He was always acting like I was some kind of brainless idiot that needed to be told when to stop talking. But I am no brainless idiot. I was the inventor of the cabbage bran muffin. No simpleton could invent the cabbage bran muffin, a unique flavour that critics have regarded as ‘a disturbing adventure into the unwelcoming world of backwater baked-goods’.

The postmaster continued, “I realize that anypony can have a bad day, but…”

He paused and looked directly into my eyes, his facial features regaining the same expression he had before and forcing another stupid grin back on my face. I lifted a hoof to my mouth and diverted my gaze to the coat rack, trying to hide my amusement.

There, on the coat rack, the postmaster had hanging both his large coat and bizarre pointed hat. They were bright red with a thick white trim running around their edges. It seemed like a very strange getup to me, but then I suppose he was a very strange pony.

“…but you seem to find a way to make every day here a bad day.” the postmaster finally concluded with a sigh. “Listen, I’m going to give you some time off. You can relax for a while and regain your composure and, hopefully, when you come back, everything will be just fine and dandy and I won’t have to speak to you like this again.”

“Oh! Like a vacation?” I asked, my eyes widening in anticipation as I lowered my hoof back to the floor and turned my attention towards the stallion.

“You could call it that.” he cautiously replied. “Don’t worry about the mail; we’ll have somepony else cover your route while you’re gone.”

I hadn’t been on a vacation since I went on a ‘permanent vacation’ from my last job as a professional philanthropist. I didn’t mind the job and it definitely had its moments, but it always felt like I was just giving my money away and getting nothing in return. I guess I just wasn’t very good at it.

“Just one last thing, Miss Hooves.” the postmaster added, setting his pipe down on the brim of a glass ashtray nearby. “I want you to deliver today’s mail… without any screw ups. Can you do that for me..? Please..?”

“Of course! Neither rain, nor sleet, nor-”

“Miss Hooves,” he interrupted again, “at this point I don’t really care if you have to wait until it stops raining, just get the mail delivered properly. And if I hear about any problems, you’re going to have to start looking for a new job.

“Now hurry up and get out of my sight before I change my mind and simply fire you.”

I blinked once before turning around and hastening out the door. I didn’t like the postmaster, but I suppose I could understand what he was so angry about. I admit that I hadn’t done the best job of delivering the mail lately, losing a few letters and damaging some of the packages, but I never would have thought I would lose my job over it. After all, I really liked delivering the mail. It was fun getting to see everypony’s reactions when they received their letters and parcels. Some ponies were so happy to get mail from loved ones, their smiling faces beaming back at me, while others were simply confused, staring at their mail like they didn’t even know what was going on. There was only one reaction I truly didn’t enjoy seeing. It was the one where ponies got upset with me, like they never wanted to receive anything in the first place, but that’s not really my fault is it? I mean, I didn’t send them that broken lamp or those smashed dishes, so why are they angry at me?

Pushing my apprehension aside, I worked my way down the hallway and entered the mail sorting room only to be confronted with the same clueless looking individual I encountered almost every day of my life. I could tell his life was going nowhere fast; he seemed like such a failure. Frankly, I’d be surprised if he ever accomplished anything useful since he spent nearly all of his free time in that mailroom drawing these complicated diagrams on one of the many decidedly random chalkboards scattered around the walls. They were all incredibly detailed pictures of carriages and wagons with metal pipes sticking out the back and not a single pony at the front to pull them. And instead of reins, they had their spare wheel attached near the seat of the caravan as if the panic-stricken rider was supposed to grapple onto it when they inevitably lost control and careened off a cliff.

“At it again, are you Karl?” I chuckled lightly, approaching the unicorn from behind while he furiously ran a piece of chalk across one of the empty boards.

“Just take your mail and get out of here, Derpy.” he said with a sigh. “I’m very busy right now. I believe I’ve finally discovered how to power the engine of my device! I’m going to use internal combustion to push pistons in-”

“Oh you and your crazy contraptions, Karl!” I laughed. “One of these days you’ll learn that there’s more to life than being cooped up in this mailroom, working away on these funny pictures.”

He sighed again and turned around. I could tell by the annoyed expression on his face that he was obviously not very convinced by my argument, but I wasn’t worried. I would find a way to clear his mind of this nonsense.

“Like what?” he asked with clear hesitation in his voice.

“Like romance! Adventure! Political intrigue! Love!”

“I think love and romance are essentially the same things, Derpy.”

“Pfft…” I scoffed. “Amateur.”

He just closed his eyes and shook his head.

“Tell you what, Karl,” I said confidently, “I will show you the error of your ways, but first you need to do something for me.”

“Look, we can talk about this later, just please take your mail and go. You’re late, so it’s the last bag sitting on the counter. You can’t miss it.”

“Oh, so you think you can get out of this argument just like that, do you Karl?” I raised an eyebrow to demonstrate my excellent deductive skills. “Well it’s not going to be that easy.”

“Alright, alright...” he complied, the annoyance easily visible on his face.

“Good, now close your eyes.”

“Close… my eyes?” he asked with hesitation.

“Yes,” I confirmed, “and don’t open them until I tell you to.”

Without a word, he sat down and closed his eyes. I think he was more eager to watch me leave than discover the true meaning of life, but that’s exactly why I was doing this.

I quickly jumped into action, grabbing the chalk eraser near one of the boards and vigorously erasing everything in sight. I would convince him that his drawings of these convoluted machines were but a complication of reality and as soon as I abstracted them away, dissolved them into the very fabric of life, he could realize his full potential… or something like that anyway.

But when I finally erased every last thing on those chalkboards and told him to open his eyes, I wasn’t exactly sure I liked the full potential of Karl. The unicorn exploded, his entire body trembling as he glared at me with a passionate flame glowing in his eyes.

And while he stared back at me, I realized something that I hadn’t thought of before. I realized that erasing those diagrams may not have been the smartest idea because, although I had abstracted away the complications of reality, I now had to deal with a pony that was focused, attentive and obviously one-hundred percent in love with me.

He was speechless for now, but I knew what he wanted to say, which is exactly why it was so awkward. He was a nice pony, but I just wasn’t really all that attracted to him.

“Derpy,” his voice quivered, “do you know how long-”

“Oh! You know what?” I interrupted, half shouting my words at him. “I’m going to be late! So although I’m really, truly glad you’ve discovered the true meaning of life, I just don’t have time for romance now, Karl. I’ve got important mail to deliver.”

“Romance!?” he asked, the fire in his eyes intensifying.

I really shouldn’t have done that, mentioned that word. Because now that he knew I was aware of his love, he started to approach me. And soon, fear blanketed over me like thick pancake batter. He was surely going to pounce on me, smother me with his unconditional love!

“Don’t worry, Karl.” I hastily consoled. “We’ll have dinner together sometime, I promise.”

I jumped to the side as he leapt towards me, barely managing to escape his adoring grasp. And knowing that I couldn’t afford to stick around any longer, I latched onto the mailbag sitting on the counter beside me and flew out the door of the mailroom as fast as I could, his powerful voice shaking the entire building as I launched into the sky.

“Hoooooves!!!”

~

Arriving back at my humble abode in Ponyville, my attention immediately turned to the large white mailbag. It was unusually light today, feeling almost as if it was completely empty as I lifted it off the ground and plopped it onto the kitchen table. And sure enough, upon overturning the bag for my diligent inspection, only a single, brilliant white envelope fell out. To my wonderment, this envelope had perfectly articulated writing upon its front, but some kind of intricately detailed wax marking stuck on the flap. It was an image of two alicorns seemingly racing after one another in a circle. And while I was quite amazed with the detail of this strange, red gunk stuck on the side of the envelope, it was still simply gunk and I had no choice but to forcibly remove it. After all, I was going to deliver this letter properly and that meant I wasn’t about to unsettle the poor recipient’s stomach with the grotesque image of some identifiable gunk plastered on the side of the letter.

After carefully peeling off the red lump and removing every last trace of the marking, I flipped over the envelope and focused my attention on the opposite side. On the top right corner was a stamp with a pretty blue butterfly fluttering through the wind over the number ten. The ten was for the number of bits it cost to send the letter, but I had absolutely no idea what the butterfly was doing there. If anything at all, I believed that this butterfly only sabotaged ponies’ beliefs of our postal system. After all, what would a child think when they saw this, that butterflies delivered our mail? To me, the mere thought was completely unacceptable, to think of a world where the children grow up believing we live in some kind of magical fairy tale world oversaturated with rainbows and happiness and delicately choreographed song and dance! Unspeakable!

But I would not let my annoyance with our country’s stamps intrude on my job and I turned my attention to the top left corner of the envelope. On it was the sender’s information.

Princess Celestia

Royal Canterlot Castle

Canterlot

We never got many letters from the princess, so I found it to be quite strange that I was about to deliver one of them. She generally had other methods of sending and receiving her messages. I heard rumours that she stole and hatched baby dragon eggs to be used exclusively as magical mailboxes, slaves that existed for the sole purpose of sending instantaneous messages. Though I had also heard these baby dragons were especially susceptible to falling in love with white unicorns, turning into massive, terrible greedy monsters at random intervals, and eating extremely valuable jewels because they apparently ‘tasted delicious’, so I don’t actually believe any of these rumours. Everything about them just seemed too farfetched. I had tried eating a jewel before, but I only managed to chip my tooth and I can assure you, the resulting visit to the dentist’s office was not a ‘delicious’ experience.

The main attraction of the envelope, located in the direct center, was of course, the recipient’s address.

Twilight Sparkle

32 Meadowview Lane

Ponyville

I remembered hearing that name before, but I couldn’t remember where I had heard it or who it was. More importantly, however, I remembered that address. Something about it seemed awfully peculiar. It almost felt like the address listed on the envelope was… my own address.

I picked up the envelope and rushed outside the door, down the pathway and into the street. Quickly spinning around, I stared at the number on my house.

“Thirty Two” I mumbled quietly, still holding the envelope in my mouth as I confirmed the number near the front door.

I fluttered my eyes in confusion and looked down at the sign near the end of the street.

“Meadowview Lane” I mumbled more loudly.

Blinking once more, I looked back at the number on my house.

“Thirty Two”

I carefully set the letter on the ground beside me.

“Thirty Two Meadowview Lane.” I announced loudly, attracting the attention of several mares and stallions in the immediate vicinity.

And though the most common reaction to my announcement had been one of surprise and misunderstanding, ponies staring at me awkwardly as if I were delusional, one pony reacted in a completely different manner. This was a pony I both recognized… and feared.

I had first encountered this unusual and terrifying individual about five years ago, the very same day I moved to Ponyville. Unable to find work in my hometown and longing to escape the tragedies of the bustling urban living, I had made the decision to move to Ponyville on a whim. It was a foolish choice perhaps, as I really knew nothing about the place. Well before I even knew what it looked like, I had already spent what little I had to purchase a house and tightly packed all my hopes and dreams into a pair of tattered saddlebags. (In reality, I had quite recklessly left most of my dreams behind when I left, but thankfully the nice ponies that bought my old apartment were kind enough to send them to me several weeks later.)

On the night I arrived in Ponyville and made the trek to the door of my new home, the town was all but deserted. It was perhaps rightly so. Well into the winter months, the cold was biting and heavy frost clung to my coat like popcorn between one’s teeth. It kept me grounded and slowed my progress to a crawl, but I eventually reached the bright red door of my house and after fiddling with the keys for a brief moment, I turned the lock and opened the door, clumsily stumbling over the threshold and into the world waiting for me on the other side.

The world that waited for me on the other side, however, was not any world I could have ever expected. No, it was far more wretched and terrible than even the most intense body odour. For as soon as I had entered, a light flashed brightly from inside the dark room of the house and everything within it was illuminated at once, as if the very sun itself had risen inside my new living room. At the same time, a deafening barrage of noises pierced my eardrums; terrible screeching and high-pitched wailing that filled the room as quickly as the light had touched the corners.

The sudden brightness was nearly blinding and my vision became blurred, giving me only a squinting, deranged glance of the screeching monsters around me. Their long, snakelike tongues extended rapidly outwards, curling back in on themselves before extending again and again in pulsating motions. On the very crown of their heads, they each brandished a terrible spiky horn, wider at its base and sharper at its point than that of any normal unicorn.

And while this intense horror ravaged my senses from every direction, a single pony was visible in the chaos, peeking through the obscurity like the bright moon peeked through the clouded winter sky outside my door. I was sure she had been driven into madness, her eyes shut tightly as she babbled incomprehensibly and pranced around me.

This pony was a colour that still haunts me to this very day. Her coat, her mane and her tail were all the very brightest shade of the most horrendous pink.

Petrified, I dropped my keys and my bags, opening my mouth wide and shrieking louder than a rusty nail on a blackboard. Shortly after, the bright light dimmed before me, the noises settled to a murmur, the pink pony became a simple blurry pink object and I promptly passed out on the floor.

It was morning, several hours later, when I finally awoke, tearing myself from the sheets of the bed and jumping onto the floor, my eyes darting around the room like wasps. But despite the horrible events of last night, the room was empty except for the bed I slept on, my saddlebags neatly packed in one corner with my keys resting gently on top of them, and a small note on a bulky white nightstand.

You sure haven’t been to many parties before, have you?

Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.

Have a super-duper-awesomely-spectacular day,

Pinkie Pie

If it hadn’t been for that note, that strange slip of paper on the nightstand, I would have easily thought it all to be just a mere dream. But now I knew that this entire town was riddled with something far more serious than a bad cold. It was the host of a cult and this Pinkie Pie was its leader. She was almost certainly leading a band of pointy-headed, snake-tongued monsters and trying to involve me in some kind of extraordinary ritual or initiation that threatened to erase my existence forever, only giving me unsettling promises that I would soon ‘get used to it’ and ‘have a super-duper-awesomely-spectacular day’.

Well either that or I had grossly overreacted to a welcome party.

Whatever the case may have been, I thought it best to avoid this strange pink pony to the best of my ability and I admit I was doing a respectable job of it, but now… now she was right here in front of me, staring me in the eyes and approaching me with a dreadfully happy and hurried hopping.

Pinkie Pie had an alarmingly wild hairstyle, huge tufts of hair puffing out erratically on her mane and tail. Her eyes were closed as she pranced about, but their soul-piercing gaze stained my memory like blueberries on a white tablecloth. And as she hopped ever closer, I found myself frozen in place, paralyzed with fear and unable to react to the bright pink that descended upon me.

“Hey there Derpy! Whatcha up to?” she said, stopping unexpectedly and flashing a chilling smile at me while her hair continued to bounce up and down pendulously.

OH, DEAR CELESTIA, WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME!?” I screamed, unconsciously backing away from her in horror.

“Oh, hahaha!” she cackled.

Her laughter was beyond any shadows of a doubt, disturbing. It shook my nerves violently and once again, I was frozen in place, pathetically fixing an unblinking stare down the witch’s throat.

“Derpy, you’re so funny! I just wanted to say hi and ask you why you’re screaming your lungs out like a super loud and crazy screaming baboon in the middle of the street.”

It hadn’t occurred to me before that this pink demon might actually be able to help me with my problem. And as much as it pained me to admit it, if anyone knew where I lived, it would have to be this terrifying, all-knowing monster that had ambushed me on the very first day I had arrived here. And if she could confirm that this was indeed my address, then I could get away from her and escape to the sanctuary of my own home as quickly as possible.

IS MY ADDRESS THIRTY TWO MEADOWVIEW LANE!?” I desperately screamed back at her.

“Hahaha!” she laughed again.

Her laughter was so horrible. I couldn’t stand it. I closed my eyes and quivered in fear, pleading that she would answer and leave me in peace.

“Of course it’s your address, silly-willy.” she said as soon as she had stopped laughing.

The adrenaline kicked in at once and my heart, unrestrained, seemed to burst from my chest. With not a moment to lose, I snatched the letter lying on the ground and darted into the house. I then threw the letter on the floor of the living room and slammed the door, locking it securely behind me.

A few heart-wrenching seconds later, I carefully pulled myself to the window and peered out through the gap in the curtains. Outside, Pinkie Pie tilted her head to one side and then laughed once more, sending violent shivers coursing down my spine. Soon after, however, she stopped her wretched cackling and bounced away, finally disappearing from my sight and putting my mind at ease.

Like thick marmalade, I slid down the wall and consolidated myself on the floor. I had narrowly escaped her this time, but I was certain I wouldn’t be so fortunate again. She was always there, always watching, and always laughing.

But I had more important things to worry about at this point in time than the possibility of my imminent demise and I began to pull myself along the floor to the now bent envelope resting by the doorway. The letter was indeed interesting, being addressed to this very residence, and I wanted to know why it had been sent here. Pulling my eyes over the letter and looking down upon it, I read the face of the envelope once more.

Twilight Sparkle

32 Meadowview Lane

Ponyville

Knowing that I and I alone lived in Ponyville at the address ‘Thirty Two Meadowview Lane’, I believed there was only one conclusion that could be reached at this point in time. The conclusion that I made was ever so obvious, that I, Derpy Hooves, am also Twilight Sparkle.


________________________________________________________________________

Author's Notes:

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of my new story.

For those of you interested in getting better, proper look at the cover art I created for this story, there is a copy of it on my blog on fimfiction. There is also some general information about the story there, but to sum it up, I plan on making this story four chapters long with each chapter lasting about ten pages.

And for those of you who are interested in, but unfamiliar with my other work, you can check out "Shadows of the Sun", a much deeper, darker story about politics and tragedy. (It is, however, just about the complete polar opposite of the story you have just been reading.)

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Disclaimer:

“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” and its derivatives are the sole intellectual property of Hasbro©. I do not have, nor claim to have, the rights to the intellectual property that this story is based on.