Rough beginnings

by Never2muchpinkie

Chapter 5: The breaking point

Dead… her parents were dead. She heard it, but she didn’t want to accept it. She didn’t want to think that she had lost her biggest supporters.

Her mind fogged over, and she barely heard the stallion explaining the details. She wasn’t taking in a word he was saying, and she put her hoof to his mouth. “Please… just… don’t say any more.” Her hoof was shaking. “I… I need some time alone.”

“Of course,” he responded, bowing his head. “I’m sorry.”

She closed the door and turned around, heading toward the kitchen. She fell flat on her face, and she didn’t feel a thing. She didn’t know whether it was worth the expenditure of energy to rise. She curled up into a ball, crying quietly. What was she supposed to do now? She was alone now. She had no other family members to help her out. Dinky was the only thing she had left. She had already felt like she was about to break before from having to keep up an act for so long. Now she would never be able to reconcile with her parents and tell them the truth. She squeezed herself hard, wishing that it was her parent’s legs around her, wishing that she had given them one more hug, one more kiss. She wished she had told them she loved them more. She wished she hadn’t held in her secret for so long and lied to them because she couldn’t give up Shooting Star.

Her heart was searing with shame and guilt and loss that slowly turned into anger, giving her the strength to get up. She trotted to the kitchen, the tears burning her eyes. “THIS ISN’T FAIR!” she yelled out, grabbing a plate and throwing it against the wall, smashing it into pieces. “WHY… DO THESE THINGS… KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?” She grabbed more stuff with each pause. She flipped the kitchen table, screaming. “I’m sick of it! I’m so sick of it! I’ve had it! I’m done! No more! No more…” Her voice grew quiet at the end, tears still pouring down her face.

She slowly shook her head. “No more. No more! NO MORE!” She went to a drawer, furiously pulling it out. The drawer went flying out of her hooves, slamming into a wall as its contents spilled all over the floor. She stomped towards the drawer, grabbing a knife as she sat by the kitchen table. Her jaw was set, her body shaking as she lifted the knife toward her throat. Just one little slash, and everything would be over. She could finally rest in peace. She could escape all the pain and the drama and all the mistakes of her miserable life. She could get away from her life of failure and uselessness.

She slowly lifted it closer and closer to her neck, her shaking getting worse, panting like she had just run a marathon. Some part of her was fighting, struggling to divert her from her decision. She was slowly subduing it, looking at the sweet release on the other side, if she could only work up the courage.

Things would be so much better without her around, wouldn’t it? The world would be better off without her. She had never contributed anything meaningful to life, so it was only fitting that she end it by her own hooves.

Her heart was racing like a locomotive, as if to get all its beats out now while it was still functioning. Her breathing was heavy and husky as she felt the cold metal of the knife touch her skin. Seconds ticked by, and she accidentally nicked herself from her constant tremors. It didn’t hurt too bad, so what was a longer cut? Her hooves were shaking so bad she kept almost dropping the knife. She still couldn’t catch her breath, but she steeled herself, shutting her eyes tight and getting a tighter grip on the knife. She wanted it to be quick.

“Mama!” came the happy voice, like the sweetest song of innocence and joy. Dinky came running into the room, holding a piece of paper in her mouth. Excitedly she climbed the chair next to Derpy.

Derpy opened an eye, hearing her precious daughter.

“Mama, mama!” Dinky said again, pulling the paper out of her mouth. “I made you a present!”

Seeing her daughters bright spirit she found her hooves slowly lowering. ‘Not… not in front of Dinky,’ she thought. ‘I can’t do that to her. She’d never get over it.’

Dinky put her hooves out, proudly showing off the drawing she had made, her eyes twinkling.

Derpy wiped her eyes, slowly taking the paper. On it was a picture that was a mess of scribbles that resembled a pony, which she assumed was her, with another smaller pony, the two of them touching heads.

Derpy’s vision blurred from the new tears flowing down her face. She put a leg over her eyes, and began sobbing, sinking to the ground and hugging herself.

‘Huh?” Concern crossed Dinky’s face, and she jumped down from the chair, crying as well. “Mama! Mama! Waz wrong?”

Derpy felt Dinky batting at her legs, and she looked up at her daughter, seeing her worry, and opened her front legs to capture her daughter and hold her close.

Dinky threw her hooves around her mother, squeezing with all her two year old strength. “Is okay, Mama,” she said comfortingly. “No cry.”

Derpy kept crying regardless, happy to have her child with her.

When Derpy began to settle down and her grip loosened Dinky began to kiss her face. First her snout, then her mouth, and then her closed eyes. “Kissy kissy kissy. Kissies to feel bettah.” She put a hoof gently on Derpy’s eye, then threw it in the air. “Sadness, fwy away! Sadness… fwy away!”

Dinky was mirroring her, doing the things she did to cheer her child up. And it was delightful. She just kept her eyes closed and let her do what she wanted.

A sudden sharp intake of breath made Derpy open her eyes, seeing Dinky’s face full of worry. “Oh, no! You bleeding.”

Derpy put a hoof to her injury. “It’s… it’s nothing, Dinky.”

But Dinky wasn’t having any of it. She pulled out of Derpy’s hold, running from the room, her body levitating and racing off.

No matter how many times she saw it she still couldn’t get over the magic surges babies were capable of.

Dinky returned shortly, holding the first aid kit she kept in the closet. “You stay stiw now,” she said firmly, opening the case.

Derpy complied, not wanting to fight. Dinky looked so determined as she wiped down the wound and put a bandaid over it.

“There we go! All bettah!” And for good measure she placed a kiss on it.

Derpy put a hoof to her neck, tears once more streaming down her cheeks. “Thank you, Dinky,” she said quietly, her heart starting to burn again.

Dinky pouted. She could tell her mom was really upset, but she didn’t know why. She thought about the other things her mom did for her when she was upset. Her mom was a whole lot bigger than her, so she couldn’t pick her up and rock her, but she could do the other part of the equation.

“Mama, Mama!” Dinky said brightly.

Derpy glanced toward Dinky, trying not to break down again.

“I’m gonna sing you a luluby.”

“Lullaby,” she corrected automatically.

Dinky cleared her throat. “Farts and poops in the potty soon, poopin’ and poopin’ all day long, I’ll flush the potty and go take a poop again!”

Derpy just stared at Dinky like she had three heads as Dinky giggled like mad. She had certainly devised some “interesting” alternate lyrics to her nighttime lullaby. Dinky was fond of toilet humor at her age.

Derpy let out a pained laugh as she put her hoof to her face. And once she started she found it hard to stop. She began to laugh harder and harder until she couldn’t breathe. She was panting for breath, but she still kept laughing every time she got some oxygen in her system.

Dinky was smiling widely, and threw her hooves around her mother’s neck and joined in with her laughter. She had helped her mama all by herself.

When her laughter finally settled down she wiped away the tears on her face and gave Dinky a loving squeeze. “Aww, Muffin, you’re so funny.”

Dinky closed her eyes, feeling so close to her mom. “I love you, Mama!”

“I love you too, Dinky.”

She maneuvered a little bit, unfurling her wings and hovering over to Dinky’s room, sitting in the rocking chair and beginning a back and forth motion.

She kept her eyes closed as she rubbed Dinky’s back, trying not to think.

Dinky let out a content sigh as she nuzzled into her mother’s fur.

The two of them sat there, rocking for the longest time, neither saying a word.

Dinky was the one who broke the silence. “Mama?”

“Yes?” Derpy replied.

“Sing!” she requested.

“Alright, Muffin.” She moved Dinky onto her back, rocking her in her legs as she began to sing. “Stars and moons and air balloons…”

Dinky loved the sound of her mother’s voice, letting it wash over her like a cool river on a summer day. She lost herself in the words, the rhythms, the crescendos, the melody, and felt so relaxed.

When she finished Dinky immediately cried out, “Again, again!” There was a bit of a rasp in her voice, showing she was growing sleepy.

Derpy complied, not wanting to make Dinky upset. She wound up singing it a third time before Dinky conked out.

As she finished up and there was silence in the room but for the sound of breathing Derpy didn’t have to keep up the act anymore. She took a shaky breath, twin trails of tears coming down her face. She stopped her rocking, getting up and flying to Dinky’s bed, setting her down. She went into the closet and took out Dinky’s carrier.

Returning to the bed she gently picked up Dinky, placing her inside and strapping her in, her face a mask.

She went to her room, scribbling a note and taking it with her. She grabbed Dinky and left the house, taking to the air.

It was a warm night, so she wasn’t worried about Dinky waking up. On particularly fussy nights she had found that the up and down nature of flight could get her daughter to fall asleep like nothing else would.

After a few minutes she arrived at Bon Bon and Lyra’s house. Setting down gently on the grass she sat down in front of the door, her back against it. She could faintly make out conversation and music coming from inside. She wondered if the two of them were dancing together. She looked up into the darkened sky, gazing at the moon.

She stared at it for a while. “Princess Luna was trapped in there for a thousand years. I couldn’t imagine it. Having to last that long. It would drive me crazy.”

Despite the warmth of the evening a chill was spreading through her body like someone had injected ice in her veins. “I did my very best, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. I just can’t take it anymore. And now… now she’ll finally have ponies that are worthy.”

She took out the paper, stuffing it inside the carrier.

“I’m sorry, Dinky.” She gave the foal one last kiss. “I hope you can forgive me someday.”

She let out a light snicker as she thought of Dinky’s creative lyrics again. She rubbed Dinky’s head lovingly. “Thank you, Muffin, for one last laugh.”

She lifted her head, a tear falling onto Dinky’s face. She forced herself to turn away, starting a slow walk towards home. She refused to turn around. She didn’t deserve to look at something as pure as her daughter. Not a miserable wretch like her…


“Woohoo!” Lyra shouted. “Go, Berry!”

Berry Punch was wearing a lampshade on her head, zealously shaking her body to the music and giggling.

“Does anyone want some more cider?” Bon Bon asked, bringing in a serving dish.

“I’ll pass,” said Shoeshine. “I don’t want to miss work tomorrow.”

“Did someone say cider?” Berry said, lifting up the lampshade.

Lyra turned up the music a little louder. “This is a great party.”

“I’ll toast to that,” said Doctor Hooves as he picked up a glass of cider, toasting to Lyra as they both downed their glass.

“Not quite,” said Bon Bon.

“Whatcha mean?” Berry asked, hiccupping. “Waz missing?”

“We should grab Derpy too. She’s always staying in, watching her baby. She needs a nice night out.”

“I hear that!” Lyra replied, nodding. “We’re gonna drag her out if we have to take her kicking and screaming.”

“Yeah, go grab the silly filly!” Berry agreed heartily.

The pair headed to the front door, opening it. “Hold down the fort for us while we’re gone,” said Bon Bon. “Don’t do anything we wouldn’t-WHOA!” She let out a yelp as she tripped over something, landing on her back.

Before she could even regain her senses a loud, crisp cry rent the air, following the object rolling away from them.

Lyra headed toward the crying with confusion as it came to a stop. She turned it over. “Huh? Dinky?” she said with surprise. She looked around, seeing no sign of Derpy. “What are you doing here, little one?” She undid the straps holding her in, holding onto the toddler. “There, there,” she said soothingly. “It’s okay.”

At first Dinky was so distraught at her abrupt return to consciousness that she didn’t object, but she quickly began to pull away. “Not Mama!” she cried out.

“I know, I know. I’m sorry.”

“Where Mama?” she demanded, still sobbing.

“I don’t know, sweetheart.”

That only made Dinky cry harder. “Mama! M-m-mamaaaaaa!”

Bon Bon watched Lyra trying to sooth Dinky, when a piece of paper rustling along the ground caught her attention. She picked it up, moving toward the light of her house to see it better.

Maybe Derpy had an emergency situation and needed someone to watch her. Didn’t explain why she couldn’t at least knock and let them know. The poor thing could have been outside for hours.

Her eyes scanned the paper, and her mouth went dry. Her heart began hammering, and she felt more scared than she had ever been.

“Lyra!” she called out, her voice cracking. “Come here and look at this.”

“A little busy at the moment,” she responded, still trying to get Dinky to settle down.

“Now!” she said harshly.

“Alright, alright.” She walked towards the house. “What’s so impor-” Her voice faded out, her mouth hanging open. “No! No! This… this isn’t… is it?”

“‘I’m sorry. Please take care of Dinky.’ Can it mean anything else?”

“Mamaaaa!” Dinky cried out again. “Where are you?”

The two of them looked at Dinky, pleading for her mother, and their hearts began to break at the implication.

“Come on, Lyra!”

“Right,” she replied.

The two of them went inside, knowing they had little time.

“Hey, that waz quick,” Berry said, letting out another hiccup. When she heard the crying baby she let out a drunken giggle. “Hey, you brought the wrong one.”

“Quiet!” Lyra shouted, turning off the radio.

“What’s wrong?” asked Doctor Hooves.

“We found Dinky outside our doorstep, with Derpy nowhere to be found. We also found this note.” As she read it the bright spirit of the room instantly went dead.

“Why?” Shoeshine cried out. “What happened?”

“We don’t know! What’s important right now is to find her. Me and Bon Bon are going to try her house. Doctor Hooves, please look after Dinky. The rest of you try the park or around town.”

“Right!” came the unanimous response.

Lyra and Bon Bon ran full out towards Derpy’s house as soon as they handed Dinky over. “Please be okay!” Lyra said.