It took about thirty seconds after leaving the castle in the morning to realize that I was human.
I looked down in absolute shock, and immediately convinced myself that I had found myself in a bad dream. I had everything back, too; the worn leather jacket, the cutie-mark t-shirt I had custom made, along with the boots and skirt; all the sudden I was human again, with absolutely explanation or formal reason.
I looked around frantically, searching for something, anything that could possibly explain what in the hell had just happened, but there was nothing. It was rather ordinary day in Ponyville, with Celestia's sun shining bright as it always did, the grass swaying slightly from the soft breeze. I took off running back toward's the castle; if anypony could know how to fix this, it would be Twilight. Just as I was about to reach the castle doors, however, I heard a rather chilling voice speak up from behind me.
"Hmm, I think this look suits you better. Oh, but those boots are so tacky! You're telling me that no one told you that?" said the voice. I whipped around, only to be greeted by a figure I had only seen in greyscale.
Well, that was half true; I had seen what Discord looked like in color from illustrations, but when I saw him physically, he had been petrified completely. Naturally, his color scheme was just as chaotic as he was, with green, brown, red, and a whole slew of other colors patterned across his body with his mismatched limbs from a variety of animals. Despite the mangled abomination that he was, it was his eyes that were the most disturbing to look at; they had this glint that clearly displayed Discord's nature; his cruelness, his cunning mind, and, most terrifying of all, his reckless abandon.
"Discord, I'm only going to say this once; change me back. I have a pony I need to meet," I explained clearly. At those words, Discord rolled his eyes.
"Who, Jennet? Jennet can wait; she's still waiting for proper recognition from all the sports analysts around Canterlot. They put Canter Magnum on the cover of the newspapers while she was catching all of his horrible passes. And besides, what are you going to do if I don't, hmm? A human girl with no more magic vs a god of chaos?" he asked mockingly. In response, I pointed (I had fingers again) towards the double doors of the castle.
"I'm not going to do anything, but the mare inside will," I told him. Instead of the fearful response I was looking for, I was met with a very devious grin.
"Twilight is sleeping. What is it now, one thirty? She stays up later and later every night, and I'm not entirely sure she knows why. Your friend is a wonderful actress, Sunset; so good, in fact, that she doesn't even know she's playing a part. She'll do nothing to me," he finished. I raised an eyebrow at the cryptic comment, but after idly looking down, I realized that I was still human.
"Change me back!" I shouted, more forcefully than the last. Discord chuckled.
"You said you wouldn't say it twice, and here we are; the world is full of hypocrites. Ugh, if you insist," he said, snapping his fingers.
The good news was that Discord, did, indeed, turn me back into my equine form; the bad news was that he had placed me on the balcony of the castle and completely removed the door behind me. I looked down to see him staring back at me; he gave me a very friendly looking wave, but I wasn't about to be as friendly with him; I gave a long sigh of annoyance.
"Put me down!" I shouted. Suddenly, I felt a chill crawl across my spine. Discord was still on the ground below me, but his voice, as I came to find out, was not.
"No, no, no; you only get one wish," came his voice behind me. I turned around to see him lounging on a lawn chair, a drink in his hand. I turned back over the balcony below to see that "Discord" was still down there, continuing to wave at me. I was absolutely certain that when I turned back around to see the Discord on the balcony, I was donning a look of murderous intent. Discord looked up at me and turned his smile a hundred and eighty degrees.
"You know, it takes a lot to impress me," he began. "Well, actually, it doesn't; "impressive" and "not boring" go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned, but I've been told I'm not a man of conventional tastes. You, Sunset Shimmer, you don't bore me, and that, to me, is very impressive; only one other mare holds the honor," he said.
"Twilight? Or Celestia?" I asked. Discord gave a look of mock offense.
"Celestia? Please. Celestia's the student who asks the teacher if she's going to collect the homework when the teacher forgets; Celestia's the mare that can't hang out on Saturday because she's too busy studying for a test that's a week away. I could carry better conversations with a piece of cardboard, and yet...Twilight Sparkle would die for her without a second thought. If Celestia was tied to the train tracks, Twilight Sparkle would jump in front of the train. That is why Twilight isn't boring; she'd sacrifice herself for a mare who cares far more about her job than anything else. And the reason you aren't boring is that you wouldn't die for Princess Celestia; if you could jump into a pit of acid to save her life, you wouldn't." Discord snapped his fingers, causing what appeared to be a yogurt snack to appear in his hands in a cloud of smoke. "Parfait?" he asked me, holding it out.
"You're wrong about that one, Discord," I told him, anger rising in my voice. "I don't think you quite understand how much Celestia cares about Twilight. It's motherly connection; even I can see that," I told him. Discord gave a sigh that mirrored my own before snapping his fingers once again.
The entire scene changed. I was no longer on the highest balcony of Twilight's castle in Ponyville; I was in an extravagantly decorated room, sitting in the front row on the right side of a carpeted walkway. The moment was completely frozen, but it was quite easy to tell what it was; Twilight stood upon a podium with Luna and Celestia beside her, addressing the large crowd of ponies before her.
"Twilight's coronation," I muttered to myself. Discord was sitting right beside me, eating the yogurt parfait he had offered me earlier. I turned to him, an eyebrow raise, silently demanding an explanation. He stared at me blankly.
"What? I thought you didn't want it," he said with the food in his mouth, mangling the sentence. I narrowed my eyes.
"Why are you showing me this?" I demanded. Discord's face lit up, as if a metaphorical lightbulb went off over his head.
"Oh, that!" he said, rushing over to the podium. He stood right next to Twilight and pulled a handkerchief from nowhere before proceeding to dab the tears from the frozen Twilight's face.
"Of course Celestia cares for this one! Twilight is her legacy. Everything Celestia has ever done as the ruler of this nation will all be inherited by the very mare she taught everything she knew; Princess Twilight Sparkle. Celestia is going to pass the torch, and Twilight Sparkle will receive it, and you damn well know that she's going to rule the exact same way that Celestia did; meet the new boss, same as the old boss. I mean, look at Equestria now! You all have been a peace for how many years? Well, peace is a loose term, when you consider all the preventable attacks on your soil, including mine; why oh why would you leave my petrified body displayed in public? It's rich!" he exclaimed. I gave a laugh of disbelief.
"The monologue is cute, Discord; you sound like a Bond villain," I said. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I realized that, for the first time in Equestria, I had made a reference to human culture that nopony would understand; however, this was Discord, and faster than the eye could comprehend, Discord was dressed in an all black suit with a deck of playing cards in his right hand and a scar over his right eye, which now appeared to be blinded with a milky, white texture.
"But that's where you're wrong, 007! I know the way you think; there's the majority of your mind that's telling you that everything I'm saying is ridiculous, but there's that small minority, the tinsy bit in there that has a singular thought; what if he's right?" Discord quickly flew from Celestia's side to Luna's.
"Luna had that streak in, her, too. She's actually not so different from you, is she? It's almost like we have another pair of royal twins! Twilight is Celestia, the Mrs. Perfect who's done no wrong, and you, my dear Sunset, are Luna, the redeemed villain who finds herself having to get used to a world she's been away from for a very long time, although you weren't responsible for thousands of deaths. Well, you almost were, but that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," At that last remark, I'd completely had it; I stood up from the chair I'd been sitting in and marched over to him, an amused look on his face.
"So what's the point, huh? All this talk of Twilight and Celestia, and whether I'd die for them? The talk of my past, and Nightmare Moon? Where in the hell are you hoping to get with this? What's the purpose of it? I'd like for you to cap this bullshit off, because as I explained to you earlier, I have somewhere to be," I said, malice clearly dripping from my voice with every word. With those words, Discord snapped his fingers, and we were gone once again.
The familiar scenery of the castle greeted me, though, thankfully, I wasn't on the balcony this time. We were right where I had started, just a few feet away from the castle door, ready to go and meet Jennet at the town square.
"Absolutely, nothing, Sunset; I'm messing with you. It's the nature of my game; nothing brings me more enjoyment and self fulfillment than a ponies reaction to utter, nonsensical chaos and disorder. Well, I think it's time to leave you alone; I've certainly given you plenty to think about. Oh, and one more thing," he said. I stayed silent, deciding to just let him do his thing at this point.
"Twilight is supposed to give a short speech at Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns today at three o' clock. If I were you, I'd do my best to convince her to cancel. Ciao!" he said.
"What's that supposed to--" I began, but before I could finish, he was gone. I looked around for any sign of him, but it had appeared he had teleported somewhere. I began pondering his last words whilst looking around the area for any sign of him.
He's just messing with me, I thought. He can't possibly predict the future...can he? It was hard to even take in; in a span of about ten minutes, Discord had questioned the establishment of the nation of Equestria, pelted me with hypothetical questions for no reason other than personal enjoyment, and, before he left, seemingly hinted that Twilight, one of the toughest, sweet, and kind mares that I knew, was in danger.
Even I have to admit, her sleep schedule is getting out of hand; I'll need to talk to her about it. I knew one thing was for certain; all of his hypothetical questions, stupid and useless as they were, were certainly doing their job; it would be good for me to get my mind off things by meeting up with Jennet. As the town of Ponyville came into view, I could only think one thing.
This won't be the last time we meet. And the next time we do, I'll be asking the questions.