87w, 6dThe GREAT and POWERFUL TRIXIE
The Great and Powerful Trixie knew this was a dream.
Barren land, black sky, and the blood-red crescent moon hanging like a scythe in the void sky-that was what Trixie saw before her. The freezing winds of the deepest winter cut her like sharp blades; the dead earth she touched had long ago been extinguished of any fertile soil. She was standing at the center of the desolate environment.
A Dream of the darker kind, that fact could not be denied. But what if she missed something? A hidden element that would be the ruin of her? Trixie had to make sure of what she was confronting with.
Trixie knew it was only a trick, a false image spawned by her emotion. Dreams, and then more falseness born from the reality. It felt very real-but still not realistic enough. Some part it was too exaggerated. Certain anomalies she instantly detected. Her mood probably decided what she saw-there could be external stimulus, but ultimately it was Trixie who dreamed and made the whole scenery come to life-an artificial life, that is, existing only in her dreams.
Her previous dream was a rather sweet one compared to this. How did it come to this? She thought for a moment, but then realized she just could not be bothered to come up with the answer that was just so obvious to the point of being pointless.
But couldn’t there be another possibility? Let’s think about this. Consider the following: Trixie did not do it. There was something else involved…
It is Trixie here who does all the talking and thinking. She said it firmly-well, she could not hear any sound, at least not at the moment, but she was in a dream, and her words were conveyed via means she had not recognized. Trixie stared at the desolate landscape before her. Perhaps there were foreign influences after all-perhaps. She could be never so sure. She had to find out, to search the “database” of her mind, possibly picking out some threads that she considered to be relevant to her current situation. It was a grueling job, not really magical, but Trixie knew the wonders of her tricks were based upon painfully precise calculations-it was always mastery before manipulation, and she needed to have the mastery, someway, somehow.
Was she still dreaming? She looked around, and saw something in the distance.
Yes, she said. Part of a broken fragments perhaps, but a dream was a dream, after all.
It was there-whether it was always there while she was surveying the land did not matter. It could have been there all along with Trixie not realizing at all; but Trixie was seeing the creature now, and she could safely assume that it now began to exist in a way that she could understand. In front of her was the pegasus with bat-like wings at its side. Its eyes glowed with a purplish blue flame. Its fur was black like the darkest night without the moon.
Mare of the Night. Trixie smiled bitterly. From the unimaginable abyss it came to her, bringing all the darkness, coloring her dream with its own hue.
But was it really there? She could not be so sure. At least not yet. Was the Night Mare really there, or was it just another illusion she conjured up because she was in a relatively sour mood?
Trixie closed her eyes. She took a deep breath and took extra time to let it out, making sure the extra time calmed her and her senses down. When she opened her eyes again the pegasus was still there, motionless, seemingly unaffected by her act.
Lifeless? Just an illusion? Something else? Wait-did it smile, was it smiling? Trixie wondered. She questioned herself, hoping her flow of thoughts held answers, or at least some hints to make up for her lack of information. What is it exactly? Or more importantly, what is it thinking? Reading others was as hard as comprehending the intricate theory of magical tricks. Trying to look into the mind (if it had any that could be properly defined as ‘a mind’) of a creature from the dream was, obviously, harder.
Being so Great and Powerful she thought she saw it sneering-then suddenly frowning.
Suddenly it changed shape to of which she was familiar with. Or it was always in such form and Trixie had not caught up with the image till now. Now it was looking like an alicorn-a very familiar alicorn Trixie knew. Its mane moved in the air as it had its own sentient, leaving a dark blue mist. Its horn was long, and sharp enough to probably impale steel. Its body was dark like Night Mare’s. But there was a difference. If the pegasus’ blackness was like darkness with the absence of any light, this alicorn’s blackness was the darkness of the night at its finest, full moon shining brightly in the sky, radiating a dim blue light that was quite bright.
Darkness shining with all its majesty-then it had to be Nightmare Moon.
Trixie know you. She said. She remembered; Trixie knew who she was. Which Trixie? Trixie, of course. She met Nightmare Moon. Which Trixie? Which Trixie? No, it does not matter, for Trixie meet her. Which Trixie? This Trixie, this Trixie right here.
Still no sound-but she knew the alicorn would hear her words.
Nightmare Moon promptly answered. You do not know me, petty jester.
She tried to say something-but the alicorn was no longer there. Or perhaps it was not there at all, and Trixie was made to believe the imaginary Nightmare Moon to be in front of her all along. What she really saw was Discord, the element of disharmony.
It was Discord all along; the draconequus was the master of causing chaos and disruptions. Of course Trixie had no choice but to be fooled by him, and end up inside the mirror and outside the mirror.
Maybe, or maybe not. He laughed, suddenly disappearing. Only the voice remained.
I am encased in a stone, do you not remember? The voice said in the draconequus’ tone. Besides, Discord here is absolutely sure Trixie knows nothing about himself.
Trixie knows you. She heard clearly his soundless laughter. She knows you, more than in just one way.
Indeed, for knowing can mean many things. You can pretend that you know.
Trixie thought for a second. Or she can pretend not to know. She watched as the image of the draconequus dissipated into the thin air, leaving only her alone.
I am not really here; do I really have to say it? His voice still remained despite his disappearance.
Yes, Trixie knows. She took a deep breath.
She was in her bed. What kind of bed? Where was she?
But did it really matter?
She knew she was in a dream-indeed, her mind was now familiar with this realm enough to recognize immediately whenever she found herself in this dreamworld. But when was the last time for her to talk with the ancient evil in the dream? First she thought this time she was dreaming nightmare-but it was something else, she said to herself. The black pegasus seemed to be there, but it was not. Only an illusion, created by a certain need, to perform certain roles Trixie had not yet recognized.
What kind of dream was she really dreaming? She had to know, she had to find out. The Great and Powerful Trixie was somewhere, and she had to know her way.
Endless potentials within her mind; Trixie freely applied them as part of her magic. Of course, she had to keep them relatively well, for her flow of thoughts and memory contained many things that appeared to be true. Thus she had to make sure which thread were her thoughts from the reality, to avoid confusion and remember where to return to should she find herself in one of her thoughts that could well be very close to reality. What did she really experience, what had really happened? The question was of a crucial importance to her. Every day she tried to ask herself the question. Mind of a magician was supposed to be composed of a mixture of senseless riddles and meaningful truths. Mastery was required to freely use them, and to do this Trixie always surveyed her ever-shifting thoughts which were bound by nothing.
Even the nighttime’s grace could hardly stop her work. She thought she was dreaming-partially right, partially wrong; it was ever so hard to make a clear distinction. Still, she had to make everything clear and organized. After order came disruption; an illusion needed sort of a host, tricks just could not spring out of nowhere. Most of the night, while her body was lying down comfortably in the bed, she (or to be exact, her mind) performed the task, her acute mind being awake despite her body’s full slumber, ensuring her magic could work to its full potential and she not be overwhelmed by the deceptions and falseness she imagined.
No. She said. Or she thought she said, or believed her voice now had its own will and wanted to speak. But let Trixie have a break, alright? She whispered in a soft tone. She is tired. That was what she thought. Or was she? Which Trixie?
Back to the question: which Trixie, Trixie inside the mirror or outside?
She is not answering such ridiculous question. Trixie said. It was her voice-then she was speaking, right?
Yes, Trixie was talking, and she was tired. She was sleepy, and she was going to continue sleeping. The task could wait. At least not for now. She said. Trixie said.
She closed her eyes and just lied down. She was going to continue sleeping. Cold earth-so what? It was just an image, of which she imagined. She was actually in bed. Right? In bed. It had to be.
Trixie felt nothing, save for the sweet blissful forgetfulness which she eagerly savored.
Exceptions invaded every rule of sorts, and there were times Trixie just gleefully savored the sweet flavor of forgetfulness. Even the most powerful magician all over Equestria, she admitted albeit with a slight bitter resentment, could not hope to be alert at all the time. She strived to be such, but perfection was only possible with a little bit of deception here and there. A certain degree of trickery could be allowed. Even the most complex machine of a pure genius needed to shut down occasionally and have some time cooling down. Treading through the flow of memory was a demanding task, and in Trixie’s opinion nopony, even the two celestial alicorn princesses, could possibly hope to remain dedicated to such excruciating ordeal for a prolonged period. A certain amount of time was always needed for recovery process; that was Trixie’s thought upon the matter. Her intermittent neglect of her duty could be justified.
She saw something-or she believed so. Or she hoped so. Or…
No, she shook her head. Or she thought she did. It did not matter, right? Trixie thought she could be excused this time. There was an image; there seemed to be an image she conjured. It was there all the time-but then she did not make it, did she? No, not now. She forcibly shut off her flow of thoughts on that matter of what exactly was she seeing. Trixie really felt tired. Instead of letting her logic continue its work she just let it pass, her mind entering the common sleeping state which was not so common for her. It had been quite a while since her sleep had been this uneventful, untroubled by her usual task of managing her thread of thoughts. Some part of her mind was partially active-but such half-awoken state Trixie did not have to bother at all.
What she saw was just blank oblivion at its finest-and she most welcomed it, after all she had gone through. She wanted to believe there was nothing in front of her. Nothing at all. Just her wild imagination, a magician’s mind free from its corporeal reigns. There were questions to be answered, issues to be solved; but right now, Trixie wanted nothing but rest. A tactical retreat for a promise of further advancement, Trixie muttered. Or she was just really sleepy and wanted to indulge in this prolonged state of nothingness as much as possible.
But no. She had unresolved issues. Did she not remember? She found the answer-or what seemed to be the answer, and she had to test it. Like she always did, working out her tricks, to complete them, make them much more refined-come on, Trixie. She knows what to do. You know what to do. In fact, I know what to do. She saw something. I saw something. Trixie said. I said.
Who was talking? Trixie felt tense for a moment-the feeling of something heavy in her stomach. Something she did not want was happening. The voice approached her in its formeless state and talked to her. And she had to answer. Who are you? She asked back.
Trixie, of course. There is nopony else but Trixie here. Time to wake up, albeit partially, and resume her task, because I have lots of things to catch up. Trixie knows, right? She knows-and therefore I know, for what Trixie knows I am bound to know.
How? No, not now. Not now. Just a little more...
Unfortunately not. The mirror! That’s how it all started. I have been trying to figure out how it happened. I talked to Princess Celestia. I talked to two Twilight. Eventually I was going to find the answer; though it was good of me that I let down of my pride a bit and talked to others. Anyway, I would have come to a conclusion in the end.
Yes, Trixie. Me. Myself. I have come to a conclusion. Do I not remember? I have to do this. I know. I will call myself I; that is a common sense. Trixie knows that, and thus of course I know the fact. I know how Trixie found herself in the mirror-Trixie outside the mirror, to be exact. And because I know, Trixie knows too. For I am Trixie, and Trixie is me.
No, no. Trixie is tired. Not now.
Trixie exerted with all of her remaining strength to block the voice inside her head. Or was it inside her head? She searched-then she found the source, and banished its source.
I have to do this. The voice said, now calmly, despite the sound becoming fainter. The night can be long, and I will have to know that.
Trixie closed her eyes. She was seeing nothing now. Or she believed to-but if she believed so, then it could really happen.
Trixie was seeing something. It was real-real in the sense of dreamworld way, but it was definitely there. The voice now had a form. A voice of her own; she recognized the tone. So she was going to see herself. She was seeing something now. The process of seeing was now being indefinitely stretched, her eyes taking great time to adjust to this sudden object in front of her.
Slowly, but gradually the image took shape. The more she strived to see, the better her sight became. She had to see it for herself.
What? Trixie shook her head. No, that can’t be. How?
Surprised? The black mare grinned.
Wait. A mare? No, could it be called a mare? Trixie surveyed further. It was not right. She knew something was wrong. A black mare-like creature it was; it had jagged horn and transparent insect-like wings. Its body was covered-or at least that was how Trixie saw it-in chitinous scales. Part of its body had holes that were like gaping mouths. It looked like a pony, but it was not, and Trixie somehow immediately realized the fact. Perhaps it was due to her keen magician sense; Trixie knew the image before her, now in the form of a creature, was definitely not normal.
Its dark green eyes shined like bright emerald, the color of radiant vitality at its finest, actually too fine, possibly holding magical energy. Still, Trixie did not falter and looked at the mare-like creature’s strange eyes.
You do not know me, but I know you. It spoke.
Yes. Trixie said. No. She said again. We’ve never met before.
It giggled mischievously, the smile somewhat unnerving for Trixie. Perhaps it had the power to mesmerize, she thought. She searched her mind. Did she ever encounter such creature? Or in any way related to it?
How can you be so sure? It spoke again. What if it was my doing?
No. Trixie said, staring at her. Trixie came to a conclusion. She did. Trixie outside the mirror did. But she inside the mirror could have done it too, had she given the right amount of time. But it was Trixie who started it all-and she knows it all, of how it all happened.
The image was gone, and there was her familiar voice back again.
Good. It said.
I thought I had to make it sure. And that’s why I just could not sleep idly. I will forgive myself, as after this I am sure I will be able to get some sleep. Trixie will believe me, as I am Trixie and only under extreme circumstances I cannot believe myself. Trixie is good at deceiving others, but I think such isn’t the case for herself. Come on, anypony knows besting Trixie is bound to be very difficult.
The voice stopped talking, but when Trixie tried to say something, it began to speak again.
Wait. Let me talk. I can talk of many things, but this thing I have to say before I say something else. I have been tricked. By me. That is funny-I tricked myself. And I know that, right? I who am listening to me know now, of course. I was bound to know, as I said to me.
Trixie wanted to ignore her own voice talking in that characteristic Trixie tone. She was tired. She was supposed to be sound asleep. But if her mind was working and registering the fact that her sight was covered with complete blackness, it was obvious to her that she was awake, or at least she thought she was, her mind believing its vessel was in accordance with its awoken state. Even if the world she was currently in was an illusion or a fantasy that existed beyond reality, she was for the time being inside the place, and that was a definite proof that her mind was awake. She needed not to panic. Not her. She has encountered similar situations in the past-she just had to remind herself who she was and do the job of a pathfinder inside the boundless maze. She knew the starting point, and from that she could expand upon her thoughts and figure out what to do next.
Yes, it was so obvious. How could she not know? Finding out what happened, that was easy. It was her job, really easy for her, because she knew it by now. Or perhaps she had known this all along, for it was she who started it all. And thus she had to untangle the mystery she herself had created.
It was me, Trixie said to herself in a silent voice inside the dream. I did it, I did the magic.
And she spoke. Who spoke? Well, it did not matter. Trixie said. I spoke-Trixie spoke.
About time I figure it out and face the consequences, don’t you think? It is me who does the thinking-but I get what I mean. I mean, I am supposed to get what I say, for it is me who is talking right now and it is also me who is hearing my own world. A pony may never know what others think, but she is bound to know what she has in her own mind. Right?
It was Trixie’s voice she heard. Dreams. She thought. Such things could happen, of listening to one’s own voice or realizing the dreamy state without even waking up. Dreams of a plainer sort were just like watching a movie about her past. Their contents were shifted or interrupted; but Trixie could just sit back and relax, watching the entire thing happening before her.
Sometimes the atmosphere would be darker-such was the influence of the mare of the night with bat-like wings. Trixie could not really guess their nature, but in dreams the creature came unto her, turning her restful moments into unpleasant nightmares.
Let me focus on more immediate issue. The voice said to her. Trixie has other issues, does she not? Like the mirror? How did she get in other Trixie’s place?
Trixie nodded her head. But which Trixie? By who did this dream belonged to? Do you know? She asked. Or do I know? Does Trixie know?
Why, this is my dream, dream of Trixie. The Great and Powerful Trixie. The most powerful magician over all Equestria!
So are you Trixie? Trixie asked. As much as her question sounded absurd, she could not think of any better alternatives. Now even her dreams were like riddles, full of complexities and nonsenses.
I’d like to ask the same question to you. Are you Trixie? Then which Trixie are you? Inside the mirror, or outside the mirror? Does it matter as long as Trixie is Trixie? As long as I know the answer to this riddle, then it would be fine with Trixie. I would be content with it.
So which Trixie? She needed to know. It was always important to know one’s way around. But the voice was right. Trixie was Trixie; that made sense. And of course it made sense; Trixie was Trixie. Still the question remained: which Trixie, Trixie inside the mirror or outside the mirror?
I’d say I am more close to one outside the mirror. After all, it is I who cast the magic as I looked into the mirror. Trixie looked at the mirror. She saw Trixie. Trixie cast the magic and Trixie was in Trixie’s place. The voice laughed. I did it…how sad.
Why did she do it? Trixie asked to herself who was talking right now. Why did I do it?
Because Trixie felt sad, that’s why. Oh, and I felt angry too. My show would have gone fine, were it not for the neighsayers who dared to interrupt my show, and the two asses who was stupid enough to believe every part of my boast. Such fools, not knowing what magic was supposed to be, so base and ignorant of the fine art of my trickery, was the ruin of me.
Wait. Trixie here thinks she can blame nopony but her. She wasn’t shrewd enough. Taken by surprise she could not hope to perform her tricks. The neighsayers she gave each of them a fitting treatment.
The voice did not say anything, as if waiting for Trixie to speak. She cleared her throat and continued to speak.
It is her fault.
Trixie talked without a sound. It did not matter, for the voice was Trixie and it was listening to her. That fact she understood. She could meet herself here, inside the dream. If there was Trixie inside the mirror and outside the mirror, then there could be Trixie that encompassed everything, being the Great and Powerful Trixie.
Now the voice responded. I know that. It said. Or she said. Or I said. This is getting ridiculous. What am I afraid? I don’t really need to say Great and Powerful Trixie all the time. In my mind the fact is so obvious. As I’ve always said I have to focus on issues that are more urgent than others. The mirror. Where was I? Yes. I did it. I was about to talk about that.
So I did it-Why? Trixie asked. Or she asked. Or I asked myself. Why did I do it? I am Trixie-I am Great and Powerful. But what I did, that certainly was below my dignity. Why? Just why?
I thought. Yes, I thought, and therefore I thought. The Great and Powerful Trixie thought. But wait, let’s not get ahead. Certain step I should follow. I caused some disturbance; and to untangle its mystery a careful step-by-step method was to be needed.
Yes, I know-I had known the fact that I did the magic. But I have to remember how I did it. I am good at finding ways. My thread of thoughts I can move around, albeit with some difficulty. No need to worry about getting lost. So many years I have practiced. The endless variables I have all calculated, and the shifting nature I was now quite familiar with. No deceptions or tricks could hold Trixie. Not me. I would eventually escape, and I can escape. Mastery and control, the two necessary precedents before doing the magic, I do not find any problem with my approach on them, and I know where to thread and where to look.
That was what the voice said. Or that was what she, the Great and Powerful Trixie, the master of illusion said. She knew her way around here. It was a familiar territory for her.
When she first realized the truth she was reluctant to believe it. But sooner or later, she was bound up to reach her current position, talking with herself. She could have pretended nothing was happening in either of where she was, inside and outside the mirror.
Trixie spoke. She finally spoke. I finally spoke-and I let my voices sound clearly, so Trixie could listen. For me to listen. “To make things clear, I need to talk, to be given voice. In Trixie’s tone I am talking, for I am Trixie.” The unmistakable tone of Trixie she heard. And she knew it was she who was uttering those words.
“And so I talked with Princess Celestia, and the bearers. I suppose with their help I realized what had actually happened. I could say it was a shrewd choice. Even if it was not right, then it was best at that time. And the best choice can be mistaken as the right choice, sometimes even replace it-which I think is fair enough. I might make myself believe that it was indeed the best choice, a clever tactic devised by me, the Great and Powerful Trixie.”
She heard her own voice-of course, who else could it be but Trixie?
The voice talked. And that voice came from her mouth, because there was nopony but Trixie here. “I was jealous when I saw the mirror. Which I? I have to ask myself. Trixie outside the mirror; that I would be most likely to be. Now I question Trixie: was she jealous? Was that the reason?”
“And Trixie outside the mirror answers the question. Yes, she was. Indeed she felt jealous.”
“And I like that. I like me for saying that I was jealous. Sometimes saying something is hard; truth is scarier than lies, sometimes. And Trixie knows; it is ever so easy to go around the straightforward path-but to walk on its very road, it certainly requires great determination. And thus clarification is a very important process. It is a great displeasure to admit-but I consider it as a necessary evil. I need to become Greater, more Powerful. And to do achieve my aim, I have to be ever honest with myself. For I may create tricks, lies and deceptions, they would be all based on little grain of truth, and I always have to trust myself that I can do it. I can fool others-but myself I cannot trick. Eventually, and always, Trixie finds her way out.”
“She looked into the mirror, and saw Trixie talking with Twilight. It is very rare for one to see oneself in the mirror-even if the mirror is a plain one. One may see other presences-how many could claim to see themselves when they looked at the mirror? But Trixie saw Trixie-that, I think, is a very important point I should make. Sure, she was with that lavender unicorn, but Trixie was there. Her mentor talked about mirror magic, and Trixie remembered his words. He said it was a challenging spell and one take great caution to cast it. She wanted to know how other Trixie was faring. She looked so happy, so cheerful…and Trixie here felt she wanted to be that Trixie. Trixie inside the mirror.”
“But as Trixie is Great and Powerful, I was skillful enough to pull off the trick. And Trixie found herself inside the mirror-while Trixie woke up to in a different world outside the mirror.”
“So I met Twilight, yet I never met Twilight in certain circumstances. Do I want to know how I felt? Tell me, myself. What was it like?”
“This Trixie is thinking. Give her some time. Ah-wait. She got it. What was it like, Trixie asks? Trixie will answer now. She immediately realized something was off. She felt it was not right. She felt happy at first-but she was not Trixie who vanquished the star-bear and defeated two evils. Hold on, I missed a step. Just to let me know, I will have to point out the fact that I also tried to trick me by casting amnesia spell. Just what was I thinking, foolishly believing temporary forgetfulness can drive me away from accessing my memory.”
Trixie said those words-it was she who was speaking. She did it by her own accord, because she thought it would do her good. No, the voice said. What voice? The voice of doubt, of course.
“Jealousy, Trixie. Jealousy. Or anger. Or frustration. Or rage. But she knows, right? Trixie knows she is her own master. Control, it has been always control, and it will continue to be.” She said firmly, staring into the desolate landscape before her.
The vision changed and Trixie saw Trixie with the bearers. She did not flinch-even if she was about to do so involuntarily, Trixie would have immediately assumed direct control of her body and forced it to stand where she was.
“Trixie looked into the mirror…and cast the magic.” Trixie said.
“The reason?” Trixie asked, because she wanted to know.
“She thought she could pull of a great trick and be other Trixie. And she wanted to be in Trixie’s place. I understand, right? The star-bear incident. She was dangerously close to being off. Going odd. Not a good sign. Then Trixie saw Trixie…being with others. Not that she needed some company. It would be good-but not enough. So why did Trixie do the magic?”
“Because she felt sad, regretfully. She was certainly bit off at that point. Lost her way around, don’t know where to go. But temporarily. TEMPORARILY. A condition that was sure to expire.”
“But she was not that Trixie-Trixie was Trixie, but she was not Trixie inside the mirror.” Trixie who knew replied. She sighed.
“So is that all?” Trixie asked.
“ Yes.” Trixie said.
“Good. The Great and Powerful Trixie would find no trouble with tweaking her magic then. To be done, to be undone, it is all the same, or maybe partially same-I would either walk straight, or walk back. That’s how it walks, the casting of magic and its disenchantment.”
It was she who manipulated the thread in the first place; tracking down the level of disruption was to take time, but not for long, for it was her magic, her specialty.
She had come to the conclusion-a sad conclusion, but nonetheless a real conclusion. It had to be done. She was the Great and Powerful Trixie, and she did not falter. She could not, she would not.