79w, 1dHuman in Equestria
79w, 1dPonies in the Real World
79w, 23hRookies on the Rise
61w, 5dMisery, Misery, Misery
51w, 4dMy Little Over Analysis
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59w, 16hFimFiction Gold Archives
34w, 4dKing Sombra Fan Fiction
31w, 2dCompleted Story Compendium
47w, 1dIn A Little Group in Ponyville
33w, 2dKing Sombra & Trixie Fanfic
16w, 3dThe Asylum Fan Group
7w, 6dThe 1000 Up Vote Club
15w, 20hDriz's Fanfiction Emporium
1w, 4dI'm no longer a pony... for now 4 comments · 46 views
9w, 1dExhausted 4 comments · 30 views
10w, 1dWell... Here goes. 14 comments · 74 views
11w, 19hUh... Yeah: Story Changes 1 comments · 36 views
11w, 3dWithout my computer update #6 8 comments · 47 views
11w, 6dI need input, please 12 comments · 71 views
12w, 19hMy worst phobia/I need your input 7 comments · 64 views
12w, 2dSo yeah... stuff and things 11 comments · 55 views
12w, 5dBittersweet Victory 8 comments · 68 views
13w, 10hI will find myself a sledgehammer... 16 comments · 61 views
The sun woke up before she did that day. As a groan rolled from her throat, her sore, bloodshot eyes slowly squinted open to powder blue sheets. This wasn’t her bed. She blinked again, slowly, but the sheets did not change. This place was far from her palace bedchamber, but how far? Where was she?
As sleep lazily slid from her mind, a chill took her. Something wasn’t right. Her whole body felt different. Had she been shaved completely? Why was she wearing clothes? Instinctively, her hands gripped the blankets and she wrapped herself tighter in the fabric. Hands. Her eyes locked onto the claw like things holding her covers close. She had hands like a minotaur, only more delicate. The blanket was released as she lifted her right hand to her face. From her shallow palm branched five pale digits with the nails filed short. She felt her sharp breath flow over the bare skin.
The word confused her as soon as it entered her mind. Where had it even come from? She looked down at herself and saw her body was covered with a plain white shirt. She had some hair over her skin, but it was nothing like the silky alabaster coat that she was accustomed to.
Such a strange word. What does it mean? Just where had she heard it before? It was familiar. She knew that word, but how? How had it entered her mind? She pulled her knees to her chest and wrapped her arms around them, feeling the bones of her arm press against her legs. The muscles and tendons of her back pulled as if they were tired or bruised.
Her hands touched her face. Her muzzle was gone. She only had a sloping nose above a small mouth with soft lips. She was human. Her hands explored her face. She could feel her cheekbones. Despite her best efforts, Celestia was panicking. How was she human all of a sudden? Her hands felt along the back of her neck and stopped at her hair.
Her hair was almost entirely gone. It was barely long enough to grip with her shaking fingers.
The nails on her hands were filed or cut short. Why were they so short? Why was she like this? Who was she?
“I’m Princess Celestia,” she said. Her voice was still there. At least that had not been changed. Everything else was changed. Where was she?
Her eyes turned to the ceiling: tiles. The ceiling was composed of gray tiles with a rectangle in the center made of some clear material. She could see white bars through the frosted cover. What was it? Her hands reached back and held the blanket closer to her chest. She heard a small crinkle and looked at the white knuckles of her hands. The covers were lifted slowly and Celestia noticed a small pocket in the front of her shirt. A piece of paper was folded up and tucked inside. Curious, she slipped it out and turned it over in her fingers.
The paper unfolded stiffly, and Celestia could see a short letter. She sat up in her bed and bent over the letter, examining the shaky, printed words.
Dear Princess Celestia,
Waiting for what your heart desires can be really hard. So, you may try to take a shortcut. But this dishonesty never works because you didn't earn what your heart desired. The only cure is being honest with yourself, and others. And that's something every heart desires.
She turned the letter over in her hands but found the only thing written on it was what she had just read. Apple Bloom. That was Applejack sister, wasn’t it? But where did this note come from? What was it doing here? This was definitely not a usual letter like the kind Twilight wrote.
Yet it was—or, at least it seemed it was—supposed to be a letter written to her like a friendship report.
What did it matter? Where was she and why was she here? Where was Twilight? Where was Luna? Was Luna playing with her dreams and giving her nightmares? She folded the paper again. Why this dream then?
“This isn’t funny, Luna,” she challenged the empty room. It echoed her voice back at her. She didn’t wake up. “I mean it! This isn’t funny!”
The silence deafened her ringing ears. A clang from the door shook her, and she hastily tried to shove the paper back in her pocket. The pristine steel door swung inward, and two humans quickly entered.
The first was a girl who didn’t look old enough to wear the scrubs she had on with any authority. Her wild, blonde hair was tied back into a messy bun, making her brown eyes stand out on her pale, impish face. Her fingers perched on the handle of the door as she took cautious, curious steps into the room. She looked like nopony Celestia knew.
Another human, a man, swept into the room like an advancing wind. Celestia glanced at his deep brown eyes momentarily before he held out his hand towards her.
“Now, you remember what we told you about the notes. Please give that to me,” he asked in a voice that was deep and resonant but seemed to have a familiar note of... mischief in it.
That voice was too familiar.
“Luna, I want to wake up now!” the woman on the bed called. The man looked pained and advanced towards her.
“Give me the note, please.”
Celestia seized the covers and held them over the pocket where the letter rested. Why was Luna not waking her up? She knew better than to keep her in dreams like this. Why would Luna keep her in a dream like this?
“Should I give her a sedative?” the girl asked, her hand fully wrapped around the handle of the door. Celestia’s eyes darted back to the man. This was either Luna’s idea of a joke or—
“No, That is not necessary. Besides, we don’t know how it will react with her treatment.”
Or this was not a dream. How this could possibly be real she did not know, but she knew that he was not getting this letter from her. It didn’t make sense, but somehow, she knew that she had to hold on to it. No, this has to be a dream.
His hand lay open towards her, waiting within arm’s reach for the letter. She shrunk away from him as her eyebrows drew together. He wasn’t going to get it.
“Honey, listen to me. Do not get nervous, that will only encourage her to act rashly," he cautioned the nurse. "But we must all be calm and reasonable—mustn’t we, Celeste?” He spoke without taking his eyes off of the trembling woman in front of him. He calmly kept his hand held out towards her.
“Do you really think I’m going to believe any of this, Discord?”
“Give me the note.”
“Answer my question!”
“Let me help you.”
She spat into his open hand. He didn’t even flinch. His steady gaze was beginning to make her shift. Why had she done that? She was never so disrespectful, not even to him.
“Please, may I have the paper?”
“What does it mean to you?”
“It means nothing to me. But to you, it furthers your delusions”
“Delusions?” she scoffed.
“You haven’t been well these past few years.”
“This is ridiculous!“
“Please, give me the paper.”
“Why don’t we talk then?” He turned from her and stepped towards a metal table with three chairs set around it. The chairs were bolted to the floor at a comfortable distance from the also-secured table.
The girl remained at the door with her hand wrapped around the handle and her eyes fixed on Celeste. Celeste didn’t move. She watched the man stand by the table patiently.
Something wasn’t right. He’s not gloating. Celestia looked at the girl who shifted nervously by the door. Who was she anyway? If this “doctor” was Discord, how did she know him? Why did she call him “daddy” when he could never have had a child? Did he adopt somepony?
“I don’t want to talk.”
“Well then, give me the note.”
“You have to give up one thing or the other.”
He shrugged and sat in one of the chairs.
“Then I’m just going to sit here.”
“Until I talk or give you the paper?”
“That’s the idea.”
“And if I talk to you, can I keep the note?”
She crossed her arms and settled into her bed. “Then I’ll do neither.”
“Celeste, you realize we can take the note from you at any moment. However, it’s better for you to give it to us.”
“Then you’re going to have to force me.”
His shoulders sagged with a heavy sigh. “I had hoped it wouldn’t come to this.” He turned his attention towards the girl. “Sarah?” With a jump, she looked at him. “Please bring Nurse Alice. Tell her that Celeste isn’t cooperating.”
Sarah nodded her head and left, pulling the door shut behind her, leaving Celeste and the doctor in the concrete room. Celeste glanced towards the calm man, casually sitting at the table with his eyes fixed on her. She stretched against the tension in her neck. Meeting his gaze was uncomfortable; looking away from him brought the feeling of his eyes watching her.
Say something, she wished.
The room seemed buried in silence. Celeste heard the sound of the fabric as she shifted again. She could almost hear him breathe. She could certainly hear her own breath: rushed, deliberate, cautious. Her heartbeat started to throb in her ears. The rectangle of light from the window crawled towards the door. If only she could follow it and slip from the room as easily. But was Equestria just outside the window? She hugged her knees and rested her chin on them.
Nothing felt right here. The air in the room tasted stale, dusty. She was cold, but maybe the cold wasn’t just from her coat being gone. Would Twilight be outside if she could escape? Would Luna? Had they noticed she was gone yet?
She jerked her head up to look at the false doctor. Her face hardened. “My name is Princess Celestia.”
“May I call you Celeste?”
“No. My name is Princess Celestia.”
“Was there something you remember your friends calling you?”
“You’re not my friend,” she said after a long, emphatic stare.
“Well, I want to be.”
“You’re not yourself.” Why are you doing this?
How was she here? Not just in this room, but halfway over the table? Her knucklebones pushed against the sickly pale skin of her hands as she gripped Discord’s coat. She had grabbed him and was right in his face, challenging him. How could he make her lose herself so fast?
His brown eyes were terrifying. They were livid under his arched eyebrows. Celestia cowered back without realizing what she was doing. Her hands were a frozen lock on the collar of his coat. She could feel the cold paleness of her bloodless cheeks. His strong hands wrapped around her own, sliding between her fingers and palms, forcing her hands to release the crumpled white cloth. She looked away, sitting back down.
“That surprised you, didn’t it?” he asked.
She was too shocked to keep herself from nodding.
“You keep forgetting that you’ve been like this for a while. When we took you out of the catatonic state, this became your normal behaviour. That’s why we don’t want you writing notes to yourself.” He held out his hand but Celestia didn’t respond. “Celeste, look at the note.”
She gave him an unsure glance, but her hand slid into the pocket of her shirt, drawing the paper out between her middle and index fingers. As soon as she glanced at it, she felt like she wanted to hide it again.
This wasn’t a friendship report. As she unfolded the note, the smell of ash refused to rise from the paper. They always smelled like ash and smoke. She took a sniff from the folds but only smelled paper. The handwriting seemed to fit, though: rough, foal-like, and printed carefully.
But what had she just done? His eyes still burned her memory. She would never act like that before. Princesses remain calm under stress. What was wrong with her? What was wrong with him? He was definitely not the monster that had been resealed only a few months ago.
“Please...” he said. His hand stays extended towards the hesitant woman playing with the note in her claw like fingers.
“But... why should I even trust you?”
“Because if you don’t give me that note, I will have to stay here until you do, constantly trying to get you to talk. Do you want that?”
If they’ve reached her like this—no matter how odd this is—they can reach her again. One note could give her a couple hours of peace to sort her mind out.
His fingers met the skin of her hand briefly as she placed the letter in his palm. He trapped the note behind curled fingers once she withdrew her hand. She felt guilt sink into her chest as he gave her a comforting smile.
“Don’t worry. We’ll help you get through this,” he reassured her. He stood up and placed a strong hand on her shoulder. The gears of the door ground and the hinges squeaked as the girl pushed the thick door inward. Celestia kept her eyes fixed on the rounded edges of the table.
“I heard you needed my help?” a svelte female voice said.
“It’s unnecessary now; she’s agreed to cooperate,” he said, taking his hand from her shoulder and advancing towards the door.
“So, the drugs are beginning to work then?” the girl asked as she surrendered the door handle to Discord.
“Of course they are, Screwball,” the female voice said.
Celeste jumped as the door slammed shut.