The sound of a female voice echoed throughout the overgrown tree and pierced the ears of a small dragon, waking him from his peaceful slumber. The sudden cry forced the purple reptile's eyelids open, revealing the whites of his eyes which were, at this moment, not so white as they were red and swollen. The bags that were housed under said eyes hung heavily, insisting that he go back to sleep so that the aching that they caused them could be put to rest. But alas, the source of the previous exclamations had arrived. Twilight Sparkle, the newest addition to the quartet of alicorn princesses entered the room in all of her purple-y and regal alicornic glory.
"SPIIIIIKE!" Again, the mare disturbed his rest with more frantic yelling, this time in his ear. Spike wanted ever so much to simply ignore her and return to dreamland, but she was his friend. He could pick up on the distress in her voice, and whatever it was that caused her trouble, he wanted to help. It was his job as both an assistant and a friend.
Groggily, Spike pushed aside the blue blanket that weighed him down and forced himself to sit square on his behind. Rubbing his eyes was a great struggle, the lifting of his arms and the energy it took him to actually rub nearly caused the dragon to tumble back into sleeping position. "What is it, Twi?" he asked, sans-haste.
"I was going to ask you to help be with something," the princess began with an obvious upward inflection in her voice, "but I can she you need your rest." She chuckled whilst using her magic to carefully place the discarded blanket back over Spike and nudging him back to sleep, being careful not to make any sudden movements that would startle him. Soon enough, he was back to sleeping like an angel. Granted, if he were truly sleeping like an angel, he would definitely not be snoring with the force of one million two hundred and sixty three and a half locomotives or occasionally producing puffs of smoke as dragon sometimes do. But assuming that is how angels sleep, he was sleeping like one right then.
"Anything for my number one assistant," Twilight whispered as she ever so carefully trotted down the stairs. Entering the main library portion of her home, Twilight's horn lit with the same purple hue that it always did when Twilight performed magic. A cabinet under the shelf of books closest to the staircase opened itself up producing a small notebook that sat among a sea of other notebooks stored in the same cabinet and all sporting the same star-spangled purple and pink cover. From the cabinet below it, a quill flew out, quickly zipping towards a table near the center of the room and dipping itself in a well of pitch black ink before returning to Twilight and directing its tip towards the notebook. The notebook itself was flipping open, allowing Twilight Sparkle to peruse its contents until she found exactly what it was that she was looking for.
"Let's see... Checklist for the planning of Scootaloo's pre-birthday party. Check. Checking the checklist for the planning of the planning if Scootaloo's pre-birthday party. Check." Twilight giggled, excited for the completion of her checklist to come having completed her current one. The notebook magically flipped itself to the next page and the pony princess pranced out the passage and out into the rest of Ponyville, her regal crown and Element of Magic glowing majestically upon her head.
The first stop on the purple pony's list was the Carousel Boutique. It was not only the home of the first of her five best friends that she would be meeting that day, but it was the humble clothing boutique from which everypony in Ponyville (and more) purchased their clothing for extravagant events such as the Grand Galloping Gala, or the Royal Wedding of Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, or even the recent coronation of Princess Twilight herself. All dresses produced by the store were all hoof-made by Rarity, whom Twilight was there to see. She looked down to the notebook to read her list. The first line to be checked read, 'Leave the library to begin checklist.' This, of course was already checked off, but Twilight was looking to the next line which read, 'Arrive at Carousel Boutique.' No time was wasted in checking off this item on the list, and after doing so with glee, Twilight knocked on the door to the establishment. The exterior of the two-story building was ornately decorated and bore a striking resemblance to an antique carousel, including the horses attached to the small upper story’s support posts and the one painted on a sign above the front door.
Normally this would be the time where Rarity would opened the door and greeted Twilight before beckoning her to enter. The two would probably have discussed their plans for the day, maybe even have drank a cup of tea or two. Rarity would have offered her a complimentary dress befitting of a Princess for the occasion, an offer which she would most graciously decline before heading off for the next location on get list. But alas, this did not happen as Rarity did not seem to be home at the time, and Twilight assumed that Rarity's sister, Sweetie Belle, was currently at her parents' house.
"That's strange," Twilight mumbled to nopony in particular. "Rarity promised me she would be home today." She dismissed it as nothing to worry about. It was but a mere hiccup in the plan. There were still four other ponies to visit and by then, she thought, maybe she'd find Rarity. The lavender unicorn set out for her next location. She glanced down at her list, staring at a small sketch of a farmhouse next to what was written.
"We ain't seen Applejack 'round here today. We thought she was out in the fields bright and early."
Twilight grimaced. Granny Smith's false teeth had leapt out of the elderly pony's wrinkled old mouth and at Twilight Sparkle's face which it bounced off of, leaving behind saliva residue that smelled faintly of apples and prunes. The event was nearly enough to make her lose her lunch. "So nopony knows where Applejack is?" she asked politely and without gagging.
"Nnope," replied Big MacIntosh wearing his signature stoic expression. He was a stallion of few words, but every time he did choose to speak it was like a choir of angels. Even when he didn't speak, his body spoke for him. It was enough to drive a mare (or even a stallion) wild. His stare was more powerful than an apache helicopter and his wind-swept hair wad like autumn leaves.
Twilight sighed and shook her head slowly. "I guess I'll have to come back later. I was going to ask her for some apples and apple pies."
Granny Smith, having finally returned her teeth to their rightful home spoke up. "Don't worry 'bout that. I can whip up yer apples an' apple accessories in ten seconds flat! Ol' Granny Smith still has gas to burn!" The green pony grabbed her wrinkles on each foreleg and rolled them up as if they were sleeves. It was very gross.
"Eeyup," agreed Big Mac.
A grin crept across Twilight's face and she reached her arms out wider than one would suspect she could and squeezed the stallion and his grandmother tightly. "Thank you so much! You have no idea how important this is."
After completing the next item on her list, though with varied results, she left Sweet Apple Acres to finish the rest of the preparations, not taking notice of the current trend of ponies not being where they are supposed to be. She would find soon enough that this was most definitely not a simple misunderstanding as she thought it was.
"Sorry, dear, but we haven't seen Pinkie Pie anywhere since last night."
The blue mare ducked down behind the counter to sort out the various fresh-out-of-the-oven cupcakes that her husband Mr. Carrot Cake brought out. Her hair poked out above the counter top looking like a scrumptious pink cupcake itself, a most fitting hair style for one such as Mrs. Cup Cake. Her yellow and orange husband added onto his wife's statement. "We thought she was with you and your little group. We're sorry for not being able to help, Twilight. Or should I say, Princess Twilight." He knelt down and bowed his head, smiling. Twilight blushed, not exactly used to the royal treatment that ponies had been giving get lately. From behind her she heard the mindless blabbering and gibberish of two small foals; the cake twins in fact, whom she saw to be over-exaggeratingly bowing to her on the ground.
"Well, thank you anyways," Twilight said. "I can't seem to find anypony today."
After what felt like an hour or so (but in reality, only five minutes) of screaming and yelling at the cloud home of her friend and Element of Loyalty, Rainbow Dash, Twilight realized that she was getting nowhere fast and decided to head off. Rainbow Dash is gone too... she thought.
Atop a golden throne frailly constructed from golden and brass carrots, Angel Bunny, Fluttershy's pet rabbit sat, overseeing the chaos that ran through the aforementioned pony's cottage home. Animals ran wild everywhere; birds were in the bathroom, cats were in the kitchen, rats tore up the rug. Everywhere that Twilight looked, animals were smashing or tearing something, searching for food or blankets or anything that happened to catch their fancy. She looked up at the bunny overlord, his crown of vegetables perched atop the white fluff-ball's head and asked, "Angel Bunny, what's going on here? Where's Fluttershy?" She did not know what exactly she expected from a rabbit, but she'd seen Fluttershy talk to it before, so there was no sense in not asking.
Angel scratched his chin and looked up, pondering on a possible answer for the pony. He looked back to his inquisitor and simply shrugged his shoulders, obviously not knowing or caring much about his lost master. He reached for his scepter that he had made from a wooden table leg and pointed it directly at Twilight. She herself did not understand what he meant, but she found out as soon as a kamikaze of animals of all sorts came charging towards her. Before they had a chance to essentially obliterate her, she teleported outside of the cottage in a flash of purple light.
Twilight Sparkle decided that it would be best for her to return to the library. After leaving Fluttershy's cottage, she had searched through the entire town for any sign of her friends, and after a long day, she just wanted to sleep. Perhaps she was going crazy. Perhaps this was all a dream that she needed to wake up from. Mybe if Twilight went to the Princesses the next day, Luna and Celestia would be able to help work this out. Twilight just knew that she was absolutely exhausted. Upon opening the wooden door to her library, she was greeted by the excited hooting of Owlowiscious. He flew in a graceful circle around the room before gloating down and landing softly on Twilight's back. Spike, having been following Owlowiscious at the time was running down the stairs. He tripped on the third step up from the bottom due to a very small knot on the corner. Though it seems that something that small would make no difference, but one of Spikes claws normally hit the very edge of the step, but this time the size difference caused him to become off balance and fall flat on his face. But it was fine. He stood up and ran to Twilight.
"Twilight, you're back!" he exclaimed. Owlowiscious flapped himself over to the baby dragon's side.
"Yes, Spike," Twilight replied, sighing afterwards. "But I really don't feel like talking right now. I'd rather just go to bed." She stepped towards them and the two moved aside to make room for Twilight to move past them. As she started up the wooden staircase, Spike jogged after her, panicked, and Owlowiscious followed suit.
"But Twilight! There's a HUGE problem!" Spike worriedly informed her. He tried to grasp her hind leg, but he was much to small to actually hinder her movement. Twilight opened her mouth to ask what it was, but upon entering the upstairs room, she saw clear as day what the problem was.
Standing there was a lavender unicorn mare, her dark hair wrapped into a bun on the back of her head with pink streaks in it. She blushed from behind her square glasses.
"Oh my..." she whispered.
Princess Twilight did nothing in response but leave her mouth gaping wide open.
The other mare opened her eyes wide. Very wide. Wider than any eyes ever. And she spoke.
"You're... You're me."
It was another Twilight Sparkle.