• Published 27th Jul 2013
  • 5,316 Views, 208 Comments

Scale - shortskirtsandexplosions

Daring Do goes on an epic quest full of danger and peril. Her goal: to cross landscapes, to scale boundaries... and to transcend herself.

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And the Mare in the Mirror

Something rattled—like a window pane outside a foal's bedroom during a thunder storm.

Daring sniffled. With a melancholic expression, she slowly turned around.

As darkness fell, the colors across the stained glass window shard morphed together, coalescing into ink-black shadows, like they were reflecting the implosion of the universe all around.

Weathering spasms of pent-up sorrow, Daring wiped her cheek and stared even further into the glossy surface.

At last, a shape came into focus—a blue shape. It flew lonesomely in the darkness like a dim flame, gazing curiously... almost anxiously at the emptiness falling all around it, all around them.

Daring hiccuped on a sob. After two more shuddering breaths, something cracked, but it wasn't the mirror. She blinked her wet eyes and produced the softest of smiles, something blissful and bright, reintroducing a faint hint of light into the domain.

The reflection floated closer, as if reeled in by that expression. Its suspicious eyes glared sideways at Daring with a ruby squint. The world buckled with thunder, and it flinched. It was afraid.

Daring wasn't.

On graceful limbs, she turned around completely. Sand and rock broke away beneath her, falling into endless darkness. She shuffled slowly from it, fearless and frail, until she sat facing the glass like a mother kneeling before a foal.

The reflection settled down on light blue hooves, coiling its wings up in a pensive manner.

Tilting her head to the side, Daring bore a tearful smile. With each breath that calmly exited her lungs, she relaxed, her heart cradled by a gentle warmth that pushed her forward, so that she leaned towards the shard and raised one hoof until it pressed squarely against the glass.

The mare in the mirror flinched away, raising a forelimb in protest. But the strength of its recoil was outweighed by the immeasurably bright expression crossing its muzzle, flowing through its prismatic mane, twitching through its curious eyes.

The stained-glass window was frigid to the touch, but Daring barely noticed. The warmth from her smile had run its course through her body, setting her on fire like a torched book. She kept her mouth closed, all words shielded behind smiling jaws. No embers escaped. With her pain and fear and frustration exhausted, she had very few things left to give. All that remained of her was lonesome and weak and empty.

Daring gave it anyways, not because it made sense, but because, in the face of absolute nothingness, it was simply courageous to do so.

And she never backed down from a dare.

The mare in the mirror saw it. Whether it was from the challenge, or urged on by something heartier... and softer, she trotted forward, like a nervous animal desperate for a bite of bread.

Daring placed her second hoof against the glass, for the offering was still there. All the stone and grit was gone from below; the mirror was all that was supporting her now. She held her forelimbs forward in invitation and penitence all at once.

The mare looked at the mare, and in that fragile slice of silence, they shared the same breath. It fogged up the surface between them, but soon that mist parted when the blue hoof connected to the gray from the other side.

A single sharp breath left Daring. She sobbed and giggled all at once, her eyes tearing with a quiet gesture of gratitude. She leaned forward, planting her forehead against the cold surface of the blackening universe around her, and closed her eyes. Immediately, the inky ether spun, but it was just as swiftly anchored into place by the second hoof contacting with her other forelimb.

Daring hung there in pitch black, pressed up against the first and last wall that bound her there. When she shrugged her shoulders, the mare knew there'd be nothing left.

She fell forward, but it was without fear, for she knew what would catch her.

The forelimbs wrapped around her in a nervous tremor. She hugged her back tighter, feeling the warmth like a stab to the gut, burning her and emptying her all at once. She sobbed again, but this time it was a tender squeak. On an infant whim, she leaned forward and nuzzled her, enraptured by her scent, by her flinching nerves and sweet shivers all at once. She was both timid and tempestuous, frightened and furious, a damsel and a devil.

She was just like somepony Daring always knew... and just like somepony she could have gotten to know.

When she gave her last breath, it was through a smile, and she whispered the words that were finally ripped out from the deepest of her pages.

She wasn't allowed to even finish one sentence.

"Whoah!" a voice cracked like thunder into her fuzzy ears. "Where in the hay did you come from, lady?!"