“Okay, Starlight!” Twilight said, looking over the cue cards she had written for her friend. “This should be plenty for your first lecture! I’m so excited you agreed to tell about all you’ve learned and how you moved on from before.”
“Yeah, well, I guess somepony pulling my tail may have helped,” Glimmer teased while glancing at a few the cards.
“Oh, yeah,” the alicorn replied with a blush. “Sorry. I just thought it would be a good idea to get you to talk about it more. Maybe teach that ponies can change and everypony can learn something new.”
It was a pleasant thought to know Twilight had trusted her enough to hold her own lecture in Canterlot. Something that Twilight herself had seldom done. The thought was exciting but also made the unicorn slightly wary. It wasn’t something she saw herself doing much of and possibly messing it up.
“You’ll be fine,” Twilight said lightly. The worry on Glimmer’s face must have shown.
“If you say so. I’m just worried I might mess up or somepony might question me for something I’m not prepared for,” the unicorn admitted. Her lilac eyes giving the floating cue cards an apprehensive look.
“Just follow what you don’t know on the cards and speak from the heart. You probably won’t even need these,” the Princess of Friendship stated while stacking the small assortment of cards together.
If it was so easy then it might not even required any outside help. Glimmer had smiled at the thought and took the stack of small cards with her magic. A quick flip through them yielded a satisfying sound as she barely took any of the words in. Maybe her friend was right and she would get through this without any hassle.
For some reason, Twilight had only given her the written help just minutes prior to the lecture itself. The alicorn’s excuse was that she had gone and looked up a few other items and lost track of time. Glimmer only guessed the princess may have slept in a little.
“I wish I could be there but I rather not make you uneasy,” Twilight said. “I also have to go and run several errands since Spike is out for the day.”
“That’s fine,” the unicorn replied and hugged her friend. “You’ll be with me in spirit!”
“Be sure and tell me all about it when you get back,” Twilight said, turning to head out the doors.
With that, the alicorn was out the door and off to do whatever it was she needed to. Glimmer waited a moment and let out a sigh of relief. She didn’t want to admit it but her friend had made her more anxious than relaxed about the whole thing. It wasn’t a hard thing to talk about but the cards might still help a little bit if she ever needed them.
The auditorium was full of ponies getting in place and talking among themselves. All the voices and sounds were muffled through the walls near Glimmer. It would have been comforting if she hadn’t been rattled just moments prior.
“You’ll be fine,” she told herself in a mocking tone, looking to the hall.
All she had to do was go down there, come out behind the curtain, and use the podium to talk about, well, herself. Easy, right? Why did it feel like it was going to be one of the hardest things she’s done? Stage fright in front of other ponies could be a possibility. She also guessed it could be something else entirely.
“No time like the present,” the unicorn said under her breath as she headed down the hallway.
The voices grew louder the closer she got. Just standing behind the curtain before the seats had her picking up a few phrases here and there. Ponies greeting and curious about what she had to say. A few even wondering when it was about to start. They made her smile.
Feeling more comfortable about it, Glimmer slowly walked out from the hanging fabric and made her way to the podium. The ponies all hushed quickly and whispered a few last things until silence fell over the auditorium. None of them seemed upset it was her standing before them. They had understood a general idea of what she had gone through and was accepted.
It was a nice thought and one that warmed her heart. If she had asked herself a while back if things would ever settle down for her and to not be shunned she would have said she was crazy. The idea that she was one of them and not forcing any pony around her to do anything felt great. A part of the community.
“Hello,” she began, standing at the podium and in the main light. “My name is Starlight Glimmer. I’m sure plenty of you know me and my past… incidents.”
There were no names being called or disapproval voiced. They did seem genuinely interested in what she had to tell. Looking around, she saw many faces eager to know what was going to be told.
“Like you, I always wanted to do more with my life and be somepony that meant something. Instead of finding proper ways do that, I turned to forcing others into situations that they didn’t deserve,” the unicorn spoke. “I was blinded by many things and didn’t think clearly enough. If I could go back to change things, I would.”
The last statement made her ears droop. It was an idea she had of how to fix things she’s done by just using the altered spell again but it would be too risky. Also, she liked where she was now and the ponies she had conformed forgave her.
“I’m here to tell you that change isn’t easy but it’s worth it. The idea of having your own castle or town sounds good at first, sure. It’s the matter of knowing how much harm you might be doing to get those things,” she said, looking down to the cards she set atop the podium. “I… I do my best to keep up hard work and ponies happy now. It’s a small thing but it’s enough for me.”
A few nods and smiles. She felt like she was starting to reach to them. It was a little silly but she did feel most of her words were just filler to hit that time limit for the next hour. Why did she agree to this?
“With the guidance of Princess Celestia’s pupil, I’ve managed to make things better. Through friendship,” Glimmer mentioned. Her mind was quickly running out of fluff to say but she was at least being honest. “As much as we ponies worship the great light and night given to us by Celestia and Luna, we sometimes need to take time to-”
A noise caused her to lose her thought. Not just any noise but a muffled cough. One that sounded an awful lot as if they were mocking her.
“Is there an issue?” she asked, looking around as she wasn’t quite sure where it came from.
“None,” a pony in a yellow coat called back.
“Very well,” Glimmer said slowly, looking down at her cue cards and clearing her throat. “As I was saying, Celestia and Luna, the most powerful of-”
Another cough. It sounded as if there was more behind it too. A laugh? Perhaps just the sound of them disapproving her? It didn’t exactly boost her confidence.
“Do you need some water, sir?” the unicorn asked to the pony in the audience.
“Neigh,” came the short reply. “Just truth.”
“Truth?” Glimmer repeated back to him. “I’ve been telling you the truth the whole time. If there is some problem with me, I’ll gladly ste-”
“Hah, not you,” the pony called out. Other ponies in the audience were turning their heads by now. “About what you were trying to preach.”
“I don’t follow…,” she said, wearing the confusion on her face.
“Clearly,” said the pony in yellow. “You hardly know of truly who are the most powerful. Be thankful the Great Old Ones hadn’t done any harm with your blasphemy!”
The whole auditorium of ponies let out a light gasp before shifting their view to Glimmer. Even without the light above, she felt the spotlight on her. If she ignored him then he might keep interrupting. If she let him go on then ponies might think she meant nothing she said to allow another to talk over her.
Another option of calling the guards to take him out or ask him to leave politely did cross her mind. The only problem with that is she felt ponies might not take her words to heart. If they had a question or different view, how would it be to treat them as if they were not welcome?
“What do you mean?” Glimmer asked finally. Deep inside, she knew it wasn’t what she wanted to ask but if it would help him calm down then maybe it would be for the best.
“How could a pony attempting to talk sense not know of the ones keeping our world just barely manageable?” the stallion in the crowd said.
“If you mean to imply Celestia and Luna are not two of the most powerful alicorns, then whom do you speak of?” the mare asked, frowning slightly.
To think, it was a nice day out and she was already getting into an argument with a pony. A look to her left revealed the sun still shining outside. Nothing had put a dampening mood on that at least.
“You mean to say you’ve never heard of those that make up the elements? The deities we’ve been blessed from the great above?” the pony called out, nearly shouting.
“Wha… I don’t understand. What are you implying?” the unicorn asked, a little interested in hearing this out.
“Should the Celestial Sea rise and cause calamity on our land then we know who’s responsible!” yelled the stallion, stamping a hoof on the seat.
“Look,” Glimmer started, taking a deep breath, “I don’t know what these Great Old Ones are nor do I really think it impacts what I was talking about a moment ago. I have no quarrels with your own… beliefs. I would appreciate it if you would kindly be quiet for the remainder of the session.”
“Do not speak so easily of Azathoth and the others,” the pony said in a snide remark.
If the silence in the auditorium had gone any further, Glimmer thought she would lose her mind. For once, the pony bellowing insults and confusing praise went quiet. His eyes never left the unicorn’s as he sat still and just waited.
“Okay, sorry for that interruption,” Glimmer said slowly, taking a chance to look around at the rest of her audience. “As I was saying…”
The rest of the lecture went on without incident. Her talks of the two sisters was met with a narrowed gaze from the stallion in yellow but he seemed to not wish to speak anymore. Fine by her. It was easier to continue and soon it was over before she knew it.
Hooves stamped and clopped to applaud her time and some even thanked her. It felt nice to receive kind words. Perhaps she did make a slight difference for some pony’s views. Then her mind went back to the stallion who had made such a scene. The weird titles and name her spoke of somehow wouldn’t leave her thoughts.
What kind of deities was he even speaking of? Celestia and Luna had been there for all ponies for over a thousand years, if not more. Nothing else could come close. Right?
The thought seemed to dig itself deeper like a worm. Just thinking of a pony being around for over a thousand years was a bit odd sounding itself. Then again, alicorns were different, were they not? What of those that have been a unicorn prior? Were they different? The questions seem to stack faster than she was keeping track of them.
Leaving the auditorium and heading out, Glimmer bumped into a pony and nearly got knocked to her flanks. The whole ordeal had clouded her mind so much she wasn’t watching the way. What a silly thing to do. She didn’t even know why it was bothering her so much.
“I’m sorry,” she apologized while steadying herself. “I was just lost in my own thoughts. I didn-”
It was the same stallion that had acted so weird a bit ago. He didn’t speak but just leaned in and seemed to study her a bit. There was a brief silence before he pulled his head back and gave a slow nod.
“You’ll come around,” he said simply and walked on by.
She would have made a comment had she not been searching for a meaning of his statement. The whole thing just went over her head. Sadly, it wouldn’t leave her mind. Residing to the fact that maybe she was merely curious about it all, Glimmer continued on and made sure she would talk with Twilight about it later.
The time it took Twilight to calm down from what Starlight had told her felt like hours. Glimmer had assured her that the stallion was in the wrong but didn’t want to step on their hooves to be impolite. Thankfully, the alicorn did stop her ranting and agreed to help her friend in looking up what any of the nonsense meant.
“Thank you for helping me, Twilight,” Glimmer said with a smile as they both floated books down from shelves to give the contents a look.
“It’s the least I can do, especially to put your own mind at ease. I’m sorry you had to endure that,” Twilight mentioned as she tossed another book aside and magically grabbed one more.
“Honestly, it wasn’t too bad. Just that one pony that made it really awkward,” the unicorn stated as she kept looking.
The two of them had been skimming through books for the past few hours. Spike had even brought in some refreshments so they didn’t have to leave the library in the castle. Every book had zero information as to what the pony had talked about. Not even a hint.
There had been no other deities seen as such and the closest sounding any of it ever was just made it appear as if the stallion was being confused about Discord. Then again, Glimmer had no idea if a draconequus was even that ‘old’ or could be one of those Great Old Ones. Either way, Fluttershy seemed to make sure he didn’t cause any seas to rise or whatever talk the stallion conjured up.
It was a long search and neither of them seemed to turn up any leads. Hours seeped into one another and time itself blurred as night came upon them. As much as they both wanted to find something it would have to wait until the next day. A thing such as this didn’t need to keep them awake at night.
Staying up just for an answer seemed like a silly idea. Eventually, they decided it was best to call it a night and get some rest. There would be plenty of time to find something to satisfy their minds. Specifically, Glimmer’s.
Letting Twilight head to bed first, the unicorn passed a few books around to glimpse at. From all the books on various beliefs and even the history of Equestria, nothing even hinted at other beings or deities. She had even gone back to try and read as early as possible in the beginnings of the land. Still devoid of answers she yearned for.
Why was she even wanting to find them so much? Was it to spite the stallion? To assure herself such things were preposterous? Maybe just to reaffirm her own beliefs she had grown up with?
There were so many books and none seemed to touch a subject so odd. Other worldly? The thought made Glimmer’s stomach turn as she shook her head. If things didn’t turn up then she might just check the Canterlot archives for anything. Perhaps even ask Celestia and Luna herself just to make certain.
With a sigh, she placed yet another book to the side while getting up to stretch. Her muscles were stiff from such little activity and her eyes were heavy from the sleep calling to her. The whole thing had taken up her evening and all because some pony dared to speak against what was known to all ponies across Equestria.
Shoving a book back on a shelf, Glimmer grunted and browsed the assortment of lined spines facing her. Her eyes glanced from one to the other before she decided to relax with a bit of fiction. Nothing wrong with suspending her own disbelief with a little story before bed.
Picking one at random, the unicorn used her magic to take a book off the shelf and carried it with her down the hall. May as well get comfy to read. The thought of a cozy bed and some nice reading material put a smile on her muzzle as she trotted all the way to her room. It might even help ease her over the constant effort of wanting to prove somepony wrong.
In her room, Glimmer closed the door behind her before hopping up on her bed and laying back. It felt so good to not be sitting on the hard floor. Her wavy bang drifted to the side as she stayed still and stared at the ceiling before levitating the book in front of her and opening it up. Just a short story to read and then she would blow out the candle Spike had kindly left.
After looking through the contents, the unicorn began to read a random story held within. Her eyes took in what little she could as she began to feel herself grow more tired by the second. It didn’t take long for the book to drop and smack her face, waking her up instantly. She nearly put it away until she saw a phrase.
“The Great Old Ones,” she said quietly to herself.
In a haste, she began flipping pages and sitting up. Her mind was sparking with desire to know more. Was it really right in front of her on whim? Just a random book she had grabbed?
Several minutes passed before she slowly lowered the novel and sighed. It seemed like she had found something but it was just a work of fiction. Talking about some elder ‘gods’ that had travel the cosmos and things beyond her own comprehension. She had no more to go on than before.
“Unless,” Glimmer whispered, looking through the book a bit more. “He couldn’t be this delusional.”
Was that pony really taking a work of fiction as a belief? Something he honestly thought true? It was utter nonsense and provided no substantial evidence such a thing or things even existed. The disgusted look on Glimmer turned to one of boredom as she dropped the book the side of her bed and rolled onto her side.
Maybe she’ll find more on it in the Canterlot archives when she goes to visit again. Perhaps she’ll even see if she can call another lecture just to show such a silly thing. It did fill her with an odd sense of glee to know how silly it all sounded. At least she had the week ahead to really do some research.
The next few days and nights were mostly spent in the archives. Tomes, scrolls, and plenty of other parchment were free for Glimmer to browse. Her time she spent constantly trying to find more clues only seemed to frustrate her further. For some reason, the whole idea almost mocked her.
The only source she even had that referenced the things were from the fictional works of an author she didn’t know. Try as she might, she couldn’t find another copy of the book she had read nor could she find out what author had written the outlandish pieces. At least she knew it was still nothing more than a story or two.
It wasn’t until a couple of days after her long hours in Canterlot that she finally found something else. It appeared as if it were another work of fiction until she began looking over it more. It told of various names that she found hard to pronounce and spoke even further about how things had come to be. Some names claimed to hold power or invoke fear while others were said to be downright blasphemous to even speak.
Nothing really made much sense to her but she could feel a few things start to come together. She had read a little on the Azathoth character that the pony had mentioned. How they were the first, or sounded as if they were, of the numerous deities in the tome. It did seem to unsettle her that she read of the god or creature rising from the center of their world in a time of chaos.
Discord did come to her mind but she knew better than that. If her friends and the elements could stop him once then they could do so again. It was just that this other being sounded far more threatening. Something foreboding about it and the way it seemed to be worded.
Regardless, she didn’t seem to find too much else. A few phrases about the offspring and their own horrors she barely could comprehend. Most of the tome seemed full of either babbling lines or things that didn’t even start to make sense. It began making her feel like the book just didn’t belong. Not in Canterlot and not even in reality.
The one thing that it did give a clue on and where she had decided to start looking next was the mention of another tome. One that had more information available. She had to know more. To be certain and show other ponies such a thing was fake, of course. No need to have the good names of Celestia and Luna thrown aside because of some stubborn pony who had their own views.
An issue about the other tome was that it didn’t sound familiar to her either. As much as the odd names of the creatures or deities didn’t make sense, the name of the book hadn’t rung any bells. Perhaps it was a rare one. Seeing as the Canterlot archives didn’t have it, Glimmer decided she might have to check a few other stores or towns.
She didn’t mind. Traveling instead of being cooped up in the castle was nice. It was also starting to turn into a fun test for herself. See if she could hunt down this elusive book and then really stick it to that pony. Her only worry was how long it might take to do so.
Two weeks had passed since Starlight Glimmer had gone in search of a hidden tome. Her absence at the castle was worrisome but she did resurface. Looking as if she had been through Tartarus itself, Glimmer returned back one day on a train. Her mane was disheveled and she looked more tired than any pony ever had.
Upon opening the castle doors she was met with her friends all crowding around her and asking various questions. Most of them she didn’t feel like answering. The saddlebags held not only one but a few new books she had found along the way. The most she wanted was some proper sleep after all the nights she stayed up.
Were they nights of her reading? Mostly. Though, plenty of them were also nights she couldn’t rest even if she wanted to. Some of the things she had read didn’t seem right. Not only did they not sit well with her but they also implied more to things going on than she wished.
It wasn’t real. That was what she told herself repeatedly and helped her catch a few hours of rest here and there. There was no conceivable way that any of it was real. She could even ask the princesses in Canterlot if they were and they would say the same thing. Wouldn’t they?
“Starlight!” Twilight called, walking with her through the castle. “We were so worried! Didn’t hear anything from you for days. Weeks!”
“I’m fine,” Glimmer replied simply and continued on her way. “I just need some sleep. That’s all.”
“Are you sure? Maybe I can get some cookies from Pinkie for you,” the alicorn said while looking her friend over.
“No. I’m good. Just do me a small favor,” the unicorn said, opening the door to her room and throwing her saddlebags inside.
“Of course. Anything,” Twilight replied to her, her eyes wide and waiting.
“Can you set up another lecture for me by the end of next week?” Glimmer asked, waiting patiently for the answer.
“I… Uh, yes, I think I can do that,” was the replied after a few seconds. “Can I ask why?”
“I have proof,” the tired pony said, walking into her room and slowly closing the door.
“Proof of what? Where did you go?” Twilight inquired as she kept her friend in eyesight.
“That stupid belief,” Glimmer said and attempted to shut the door but a hoof blocked it.
“Are you still going on about that? Glimmer, let it go. It was just one pony. We both overreacted from it the first night,” Twilight explained and winced as the door pressed more.
“Just be sure and get the auditorium for me, okay? Then I’ll let it go,” said the unicorn before managing to finally close her door.
A long, drawn out sigh escaped her as she lowered her head and stared across her room at the bags. She could tell that pony off for good. All the other ponies will know for certain that no such things exist. It’s all just written garbage. She couldn’t wait for the next chance she got. She only hoped that the stallion in yellow would be there.
Sleep didn’t come easy as much as she wished. Glimmer had no peaceful nights after peeking in the tomes and hated it. The week was slow and the days felt drawn out far more than necessary. Thing only thing that mattered to her was that she did get her scheduled time in the auditorium as requested. It was something she was driven to do.
The unicorn stood behind the curtain with only a single piece of parchment and her few books. Visions in her dreams bothered her and felt as if they done so specifically because of her lack faith. No, not a lack of it, just the horribly imagery within them. It was messing with her enough that she couldn’t wait to get the whole thing over with and be done.
Her mane had been brushed but still looked unkempt. It would have to do. Her eyes never alleviated those dark bags under them. Still, she was determined and if the lack of sleep was of any help it at least kept her awake to do her new session.
Sounds of ponies had been going on for the past half hour. Most of them sounding as if they were happy to be there. The idea that one of them might be in there to get the last laugh made her smile. It was a twisted smile that quickly faded as she tried to keep herself under control.
After a few more minutes, Glimmer took a deep breath and slowly walked around the curtain as she had done before. Whether it was due to her looks or the pony’s eager attention, the audience quickly hushed and watched. The unicorn carefully placed the parchment on the podium then levitated the stack of books near it as well.
Her eyes surveyed the ponies closely as she tried to spot the one who had caused her such sleepless nights. She nearly gave up until she saw him near the back with a light smirk. The only thing she did was return the smile before pulling open one of the tomes. Her throat cleared and she began.
“As you know, the last time I was here there had been a bit of a heated discussion over beliefs and such,” Glimmer said, looking through a few pages. “Things were said and it might have left some of you doubting yourselves. I’m here to clarify a few instances and show that some beliefs are simply absurd, but nothing is to prevent you from indulging in them.”
There were murmurs along the rows of ponies, most of them looking a bit uneasy. She had to guess that it would be a strange subject to come out with yet she didn’t see a reason not to let them know. It could help keep their minds steady and favor the princesses properly.
“First, we’ll start with the simple things. Many names are thrown around in some instances and claimed to have lived eons ago up to this very day. As we all know, only Celestia and Luna possess such a feat and are not to be feared but loved,” the unicorn spoke as her eyes kept leaving the book to see the reaction of the stallion in the back.
“Things as ones who create other ever-living creatures of some abyss. Oh, sorry, I mean to say ‘Great Old Ones’ there,” Glimmer mocked. Something made her frown. A feeling deep down in the pit of her soul.
“Uh, yes. These ‘Great Old Ones’ are nothing more than fables and tales of yore. Having looked into it myself, you can only find any references to them under the fiction genre,” she continued. “However, most are just obscure notes or odd ramblings that mean nothing at all. There are no other deities running around that any of you should ever be concerned with.”
A look to the window showed the slight overcast of the day still going on. Yet, something still bothered her more than she had started her session. She just couldn’t put a hoof on it.
“I have a list of these names to let you all know just how ridiculous they sound and even that speaking them invokes nothing, as they’ll try to tell you otherwise when looking them up,” Glimmer mentioned with a nod to herself.
The stallion in yellow gave an uneasy look. She got him! Things probably sounded a lot better in your head than out loud. Now ponies would hear how odd and silly some of the names were. It almost made Glimmer happy, if it wasn’t for the feeling in her stomach still turning and making her feel a bit unstable.
“There are names that look as strange as they sound. We have Azathoth, some being supposedly as a ruler of something called Outer Gods. From there, we have such travesty names as Nyarlathotep, Cthulhu, Dagon, Hastur, Shub-N-” she began rambling off before a loud gasp came from the audience.
“You shouldn’t speak his name!” the stallion called, standing up and looking quite upset.
“Oh, yes. Hastur. Him Who is Not to be Named. Quite the oddity for having a name, yet you can’t be allowed to speak it,” Glimmer said, smirking before giving a light jump from the thunderclap.
The overcast outside had become darker. She couldn’t remember if the pegasi had called in for rain today. It didn’t matter, she wasn’t doing her lesson outside anyway.
“You speak blasphemy to utter his name!” the stallion in yellow shouted.
“I don’t see why. If Hastur really is some omnipotent deity, maybe he could give us all some insight on why this following, this cult of sorts, is so secretive about him,” she snipped and levitated a book up to flip through some pages.
“If you wish to call upon the eldritch through mock, do it away from us, blasphemer!” cried the pony.
“Hastur,” she began before ducking lightly from the louder clap of thunder, “is merely a figment of imagination. He isn’t a real thing!”
The stallion stayed quiet but looked worried and seemed to be staring down Glimmer from his stand above the sitting ponies in the audience.
“Why, if he really did curse or harm ponies who uttered his name then why haven’t I be-” she started and stopped as the clouds almost sounded as if they were against her.
Other ponies in the auditorium murmured to each other and looked out the window before giving a cautious glance back to Starlight at the podium. There was another loud roar of thunder which caused them to all gasp and cower. Even the unicorn mocking deities yelped and dropped her book.
“If you truly know so much then why don’t you believe? If you had the forbidden tome tha-” the stallion said and stopped as Glimmer floated a book up.
“Oh, yes. This one? It was such a hard thing to track down and with only a couple copies in the world I wasn’t sure it even existed,” the unicorn mentioned, looking over the centuries old book that had cost her more than she liked.
She remembered finding it in a shop of the occult of all things. The pony behind the counter had been hesitant to even say he had it despite having what looked like dangerous artifacts on shelves right behind him. It had nearly cost her every bit but she somehow had to have it. She had the Necronomicon.
“It was a lot trouble tracking down but I managed. There are passages in here that detail some very disturbing things. I do wonder why you would ever worship or believe the despicable things said in this,” Glimmer claimed, unlatching the leather belt around it and opening it carefully. The yellow symbol inside the cover was as vibrant as ever. It looked like a simple design of a triskelion but it was certainly different.
“If you mock them any further then you’ll doom us all!” the stallion said sternly and glanced around. The ponies looked unsure who to believe when another rumble happened overhead.
“If I may, I shall read you a section in here,” the unicorn said and flipped a few pages before frowning at the howling winds outside. “’The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be,’ it states. This seems to imply that these beings have been around forever. Of course, none of the ponies in here have probably ever heard of such things. Why would there be a following for something clearly and deliberately fake?”
“The book states-” said the stallion before being cut off by the unicorn’s own voice.
“There is nothing to state as fact! There were no horrors at Red Hoof! Red Hoof doesn’t even exist! No Red Hoof, No Innsmuzzle, nothing!” Glimmer yelled.
The stallion made a face before quickly hopping down the steps and making his way to the door. There seemed to be no other discussion he wished to take part in. His yellow coat stayed around him as he pressed the door open with a hoof and looked back. “I was wrong.”
Before Glimmer could ask him what he meant, the pony was gone. The door shut and the thunder rumbled more. Now that she had chased off the culprit trying to spread lies, she didn’t quite know where to take her lesson. Her eyes stared out the window a moment long, almost afraid to head back home in such a storm starting up.
A few minutes of silence washed over the auditorium while the wind bellowed and the thunder rolled. Despite showing that pony how dumb things sounded and scaring him off, she didn’t feel much better. Her body ached and her mind was numb. She could only guess it was the lack of sleep.
“I guess we can cut things short for this session. No need to worry, ponies. Perhaps we’ll laugh about this tomorrow,” Glimmer joked and forced a smile.
The other ponies gave uneasy chuckles before nodding and lightly applauding. It was almost hard to hear them over the sounds outside. Instead of watching them all leave, the purple unicorn packed up her things and decided to head out before it too bad. If she made it to the train in time then she could be back at the castle before things got bad.
The rain was coming down hard and felt freezing against her body. If she didn’t care for the books and grimoire she would have used them as a makeshift umbrella. Quickly, her hooves galloped down the road, kicking up pooling water here and there as she tried to make it to the station. Another clap of thunder sounded as if it were directly above her and cause the mare to almost topple over herself.
She had nearly made it until she heard somepony speaking over the winds in a shout. At first, she wasn’t sure what she heard and it caused her to take her eyes off where she was headed. Colliding with the nearest post sent her on her flanks as she groaned and looked around.
Ponies were all looking in one direction, fearful and pointing with hooves. A branch from a nearby tree fell and would landed on Glimmer if she hadn’t scooted away. Her heart was racing but it felt cold. Her whole body was freezing but it didn’t feel like it was from the rain.
“What are you all…,” Glimmer began to ask before looking with them.
Was she dreaming? No, that couldn’t be it. It was real, but how? Nothing made sense about it. Her mind tried its best to piece it together, to keep her sanity intact. There was something there, in the distance. Wasn’t there? Or was there? It could be a trick her eyes were playing. The cloud and the light.
Any excuse kept failing to keep her in check as she shivered and tried scooting away from it. Her hind legs kicked at the wet road while she moved until her back hit the post she had stumbled into. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be real. Nothing like that existed and nothing ever should. Her mind shook, unstable and unrelenting.
Then she broke.