• Published 16th Feb 2012
  • 2,434 Views, 47 Comments

Harrowed Crown - DawnFade

There is a dark tale behind the 'Love Poison' that very few know.

  • ...

The Mother

Chapter 4


As ominous as the steward’s last words are, it’s not clear what happened to him. The next few entries are rather unique as they were found among a burnt out home where everything else had been completely destroyed. I believe they belonged to a mother living in the city proper, not the castle. She would have seen the place crumble first hand, rather than through reports and from a distance.

It was pure chance that I found her diary at all. Many pages are missing, burned, or simply ruined, but I believe there is still enough left to tell her story. It’s less official than the previous entries, yet no less important. Read, and remember her.


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Forty-two days until the summer solstice

I’m scared. I’m so scared.

For my daughter, for my home, for my very life.

The rioters get so loud that I can’t hear anything but the clanging and shouting. When that happens, I grab Dippy and we hide under the table. I cover her ears and she covers mine. She thinks it’s a game that we play. She giggles and makes faces at me and I try to smile back.

Why is this happening?! I’ve lived here my entire life and this city has been nothing but peaceful!

I remember the first riot about two weeks ago. For a few moments I thought the world was ending. I heard later on what it was about, but at the time it was so confusing. Apparently, somepony found evidence that the Captain of the Guard was stockpiling food that only the castle folk could eat. The poor harvest is making life hard enough already, but then the nobles have to steal our food as well?

Since then, they’ve only gotten worse. The castle gates are closed all day, every day, and only open for the heavily guarded supply caravans they bring through. It makes me scared for the future of our city. The future of Dippy.


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Thirty-nine days until the summer solstice

I wonder what clean air smells like. The smoke has been around for so many days now that I don’t even notice it anymore. I know it’s there, but I forget about it easily. Is this how the nobles view us? Do they just scrunch their noses and try to ignore us?

Dippy coughed so hard today that her eyes went good for a moment. I was so startled I almost dropped her. Then she was back to normal, giggling and bubbling, completely unaware of what is outside our front door.

I remember a conversation I once had with my mother when she was still with us.

“Mummy,” I asked, “Why don’t any of the things in stories happen here?”

She grinned warmly. “What kind of things, Chirpy?”

“Monsters and battles and heroes!”

“Why would you want those things to happen here?”

“Because they would be fun!”

My mother then shook her head and gave me a sad smile. “No... no they wouldn’t... And I pray you never find out why, little one.”

I understand now. And that makes me sad, because it means one of her hopes have been dashed. What would she want me to do? What would she do?

I don’t know. Every night, I have to hide my shivering and crying from Dippy or she gets upset. Then I have to pretend I’m joking and try to make her laugh.

I’m so confused and scared and I want my mother to be here. Please, help me, somepony, just help me!


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Thirty-seven days until the summer solstice

I think I have found a way out. Not for me, but for Dippy. The riots are just getting worse and worse so I have to do something. The house across from ours was burned to the ground by rioters last night. There was a nice elderly couple living there. I don’t know where they are now.

Dippy’s father came to see me. We hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks. When the riots started he explained that he was too scared to go outside. I wish he would just move here so we wouldn’t have to live apart. It’s not good for Dippy not to know her own dad. And I sort of need somepony to hold on to when the noise starts.

He was quiet as we had lunch. It was a meagre meal, just some tasteless oats. After a little bit, he looked up at me and said he could save her. I knew he meant our daughter. I knew what he was trying to save her from. This city is dying and crumbling around us.

“I have a brother in Equestria. I can take Dippy and she can stay at his house.”

I became very worried suddenly. “But what about me? Can I come?”

My heart almost burst when he shook his head. “No. And I can’t stay with Dippy either. The Equestrian Princess has closed her borders to stop refugees from piling into her lands. Even if we somehow got past, our accents would give us away. Dippy can’t talk yet, so she will be safe. All I’m doing is meeting him in the mountains and handing Dippy over. He’s got a good life and a loving wife, they will take care of her.”

He didn’t need to say that I wouldn’t ever see her again. There was no more he could say. I know him; he wouldn’t suggest this if there was a better option. He cares about Dippy as much as I do, so I know he would have planned carefully.

Tonight, he is staying with us. We’re going to talk and read stories and tell jokes and then fall asleep together as a family.


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Thirty-five days until the summer solstice

We went to the grassy court near the markets today for a little bit of fun. The trees were burnt and the grass was singed, but we ignored that. Dippy giggled and rolled on the grass a lot, which looked adorable, especially when she would stop on her back and look at us upside down with her beautiful eyes.

I tried to find a ball or something we could play with, but all the playthings were gone. We decided not to focus on the bad things though, so we made our own games, running and jumping and skipping.

Two days until they leave. Dippy looked so happy today.


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Thirty-four days until the summer solstice

The most amazing thing happened in the middle of the night. I was sniffling and crying a bit like I normally do and North was comforting me while trying not to wake Dippy.

Of course, she woke up anyway and looked up at me, eyes wide and confused. I tried to smile, but my mind was still filled with thoughts of a lifetime without her and I couldn’t stop crying.

She didn’t get upset like I thought she would. Her tiny little hoof stretched out and touched my nose in the darkness. The moonlight reflecting off her eyes brought me to another memory of my mother.

“Mummy, why are your eyes different?” I whispered to her as we cuddled at night.

“Because our family is special. Every second mare has these eyes so we can watch over our family better. My grandmother watched over my mother, and I watch over you.”

“So if I have a daughter…”

“She will have my eyes. And though I might be gone by then, I’ll still watch over you through her eyes. We all will. We’ll never leave you.”

The way Dippy touched my face and looked at me, I could almost see my mother and all the family in our history watching me with smiles, telling me it was okay. My tears turned to joy and I hugged her tighter than I ever had. I had begged for my mother to help me a few days ago, and she did. She always will.

North didn’t understand, but as long as I was okay, so was he.

I think as long as Dippy gets to safety, I’ll be okay forever. No matter how things end for me here, I know I’ll be joining my mother and grandmother as we look out for our family. I think I’m ready for Dippy to go.


Chirpy Hooves’ Diary

Thirty-three days until the summer solstice

They are gone. They left at midday, when the streets are safest. North and Dippy will go to the mountains and meet her uncle. My house is so empty, and I am so sad, but it is a strange kind of sadness.

Soon, Dippy will be safe. Every step they take away from this city will make her life better. The sadness is knowing that I will never see her enjoy that life.

This is the last page in my diary. Does that mean something?

No. I just don’t have any more room. I’ll wait here for North to come back. Maybe we can make it through this if we stay together.

To whoever is reading this, please heed my words. Love your family, because you don’t know when you will last see them.

Treasure every single moment, and if you run out of moments then treasure the memories.

Love, Chirpy Hooves

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