Sunset Shimmer Hunts the Undead

by Rune Soldier Dan

Equestria: The Musical

“All packed?”

“What would I pack for Equestria? Spare shoes?”

Luna climbed into the car, carefully watching her sister on the passenger side. An unstated, but obvious signal for the siblings came whenever Celestia abandoned her usual role as driver.

Not the only sign, either. “Dry wit is my job, Tia. What’s wrong?”

“I’ll be fine.” Celestia avoided eye contact in favor of checking her watch. “Sunset’s there already, we should move.”

Luna accepted the dodge only long enough to put her sister off-guard. Once the ten-minute drive was halfway done, she let it out with a gentle smile. “Not that I would know, but breakups are rough. Was it Professor Whooves or Iron Will?”

“What makes you say it’s one of them?” Celestia asked.

“Because you have as much social life as I do,” Luna replied. “It has to be someone at work.”

“My sister, the unsung genius.” Celestia smiled back gently. “Fine, it was Iron Will. We ended things officially this week. Great hunter, good friend, and the posturing masculinity was a turn-on – don’t judge. Just nothing to talk about besides work and himself, and five dates with no change takes the steam right out of a relationship.”

Luna whistled and shook her head. “Cards on the table, I don’t know what I would have done if you kept going. Fine guy, but financially he’s a sleazeball. Remember reading about his old tour guide business? If we let him handle the gun money it’d get blown on muscle cars and get-rich-quick schemes.”

“And if Redheart handled it, it would be expensive whiskey and unneeded explosives. None of us are perfect.”

Celestia released a long sigh and looked out the window as her precious school came into sight. “We could have made it work, I think. I started dating to change my life. But when push came to shove, I found I didn’t want to. I’m happy where I am, and that makes me feel strange because I know I should want more.”

“If you like being single, stay single,” Luna said as they pulled into the school grounds. A familiar redhead leaned against its equine statue and waved at their approach. “And yes, my own self-interest lies there too because I’d be terrified if you ever moved out. But you’re a vampire-hunting bad-ass single mom of a magic space pony, so there’s nobody in the world who could say you’re somehow incomplete without an S.O.”

Celestia waved back at Sunset, putting on a brighter smile. “Hm, thank you. I’m not accustomed to feeling ‘wrong’ like that.”

“Fortunately, I’m an expert.”

“You’re perfect, Lulu.”

“Now believe it about yourself.” Luna reached over and jostled Celestia’s shoulder. “Come on, get pumped. In ten minutes we’ll be in no-shit Equestria.”

The gentle chuckle Celestia gave grew to a girlish titter as they stepped outside. “I am excited. And I’m so thankful you decided to come, I’d be scared by myself.”

Luna cracked a grin. “That’s another thing you do: discreetly phrase things to make it sound like other people are doing you favors, so they feel good about themselves.”

“It works.” Celestia stepped readily into Sunset’s hug, both her and Luna wearing loose purses with the few needs they expected in Equestria. The school stood deserted aside from them – Canterlot High forewent the traditional summer vacation for multiple shorter breaks through the year. The autumn one began yesterday, and would end two days after their return.

Seclusion was welcome, especially for what happened next. “Sunset, if you please.”

The young teen obligingly presented her back as the sisters disrobed by the statue’s mirror. None of them had any idea what would happen to human-made clothes on the way through, and Celestia had insisted their garments not be needlessly risked.

“Hey Tia, we’re naked in school.”

“Then put on your towel.”

A towel and a purse. According to Princess Twilight they wouldn’t even need those.

Two pink arms reached around and hugged Sunset from behind. “Love you. Study hard, stay safe, call Miss Harshwhinny if anything comes up.”

“Love you, Mom. Have fun.” Sunset patted one of the hands before they left her. “What am I talking about, of course you will. Just make sure Luna does, too.”

“Love you too, kid.”

“Love you Aunt Luna.”

“Love you Tia.” Luna added.

“Come on, joker. Before midnight.” Celestia placed a gentle peck on Sunset’s cheek then retreated. She hoisted the purse, traded a shrug and excited grin with Luna… and stepped through the portal.

Courtesy of Sunset’s sketches, the first sight of a mirror on the other side came as no huge surprise. Yes, they were clones of the Celestia and Luna of Equestria, sans jewelry and poise. And yes, another winged unicorn was there as promised. Her purple hue and lovably dorkish demeanor rendered her frantic introduction as “This world’s Twilight Sparkle, who fought Sunset and played in the Band Battle but didn’t join the Friendship Games or attend Canterlot High beyond that, who is a princess in this world but please treat me normally,” a bit unnecessary, but Celestia let the excitable girl get it out of her system.

Luna did not stare at her hooves and scream, as she said she would. Celestia had spent the last days presuming it was a joke, and felt duly grateful she was right.

They toured the “Friendship Palace,” earning the doubtless first of many eye-rolls from Luna. But Celestia covered as she always did, offering a steady flow of intelligent questions and polite awe at their surroundings. Things remained calm and pleasant as they moved on to the “Friendship School.”

Griffons and pegasi floated lazily in the air above them. Snow-capped mountains and idyllic fields could be seen in the distance, while outside Celestia caught glimpses of candy-colored ponies going about their business. Even what was surely Canterlot and Cloudsdale were visible – home of the derbies and galleries on their itinerary. That was only the start, too. Twilight, Sunset, and the demigod twins had coordinated beautifully, laying out a full month of adventure, relaxation, and fun before them.

A soft, tingling burn worked its way to Celestia’s throat. She coughed and rubbed it, feeling the sensation spread across her body.

She looked to Luna – shivering, just as Celestia now was. Like an adrenaline rush with nowhere to go.

A building violin began playing in the background. Celestia finally spoke up, smiling even as her mouth demanded more. “Twilight? Something’s wrong.”

Twilight turned to them, peering worriedly before giving a closed-eyes smile. “No, nothing’s wrong. Just let it flow!”

“What?” Luna snapped. “What the hell–”

A piercing whistle interrupted. They whipped around to see a grizzled police pony proffering an empty glass jar.

At the silence, he coughed grumpily and tapped his hoof on the glass.

“I’ll get this one.” Twilight raised a coin from some hidden source and dropped it in the jar. The officer eyed it, nodded, and went on his way.

“You have a swear jar?” Luna snarled, though ended with an ‘oof’ as Celestia nudged her with the… horse butt. Celestia had moved on instinct.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Celestia chided. “It’s the same for Equestria.”

The violin grew louder, and rapid keys from a piano joined in. Luna stared back, sweating, as some unseen floodgates cracked in both of them. “Equestria?”

“Yes,” Celestia managed, trembling. “Here we are, in Equestria.”

“The home of Princess Celestia?” Luna responded with a husky whisper, her eyes like dinner plates.

Twilight squealed. “It’s happening!”

Both sisters thought the obvious question, but none could get it out. Instead they ran. Some unknown knowledge brought them out from the school, chased by a crescendo of music as the gates within them at last burst forth. They each took a deep breath, clopped one hoof to the other’s, and somehow waved outwards while balanced perfectly on their hind legs.

(To the tune of Another Opening, Another Show)

“Here we are in Equestria
The home of Princess Celestia
A chance for us to get some rest-ria
Now, here we go into Equestria!”

Trumpets blared along as they twinkle-toed down the street, each step sending a piano chime through the air. Some ponies began swaying in place as they watched the display, while others stomped their hooves to the beat.

“This was a mistake.”

“When in Rome,” Celestia said again. “Just focus on the good things coming up for us.”

“Like what?” Luna grumbled. She twirled and sprung from Celestia’s side, and a swarm of butterflies passed behind her.

One hovered around Celestia’s nose, and she gave a particular hearty laugh Luna had not heard for a long time. “Well...”

“In Equestria I’m a talking horse
No diabetes, so no remorse
From eating doughnuts, and cake, and worse!
So, here we go into Equestria!”

“I never knew you missed those things,” Luna said as they pranced down the street, followed in-step by a crowd of dozens.

“I don’t normally, but we’re ponies, so why not? We’re 300 pounds already. And then comes the airships, beaches, pegasus shows, art galleries!”

“Did you see the outdoor toilets behind the houses? It won’t all be fun and games.”

“That’s what makes it an adventure!”

“Vacation time is now here at last!”
“But no idea how to scratch my–”
We’ve magic, wings, it will be a blast!
Then, here we go into Equestria!”

“Wings, right.” Luna gave hers an experimental flap, laughing as it launched her three feet from the ground. “Think we can learn how to fly for real?”

“If it’s important for you we can cancel something else,” Celestia said. “I have a feeling you just agreed to those Canterlot art galleries for my sake.”

The crowd of dozens had became a hundred. The sisters took off, clumsily buffeting each other as they spiraled outwards, all while a familiar pegasus traced a rainbow in the sky.

“As humans go, we’re the only ones
To cross this border to have some fun
With butts of moonbeams, and butts of suns
And here we go into Equestria.

We’ll have some good times, and trials too
And stick together, sisters true!
Middle-aged women, coming for you
Are you ready for us Equestria?”