Twilight can't sleep. She has an ancient and unfinished magic spell running circles in her mind. It's only when her friends visit that she begins to relax.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 114 )

A story that's NOT over 5k? Kinda shocked at that.

Still, not a bad read at all.

~Skeeter The Lurker

The darkness bendsa way from her radiant smile.

Bends away.

I liked it. Kinda predictable, though. Not the actual twist, that was refreshingly unique, but the whole concept—that Twilight was somehow trapped or stuck somewhere—was a bit obvious from Rarity's first line. My guess was the loony bin.

Still, great read. :twilightsmile:

Are all of the other ponies/dragons dead? Excluding Celestia and possibly Cadence. I`m pretty sure that she was seeing their ghosts.

Aww, man, you did that thing writers do when they leave the reader hanging, theorizing about what was actually going on. I'm...gonna spend far too much time thinking about this than is probably healthy.

This was an interesting story, even if you cruelly withheld catharsis. You monster.

I'm not sure if I got that...
My guess would be that Twilight got completely consumed by that hypothesis and doesn't even notice as time passes and her friends die? But... uh... well. That doesn't fit completely... right. I'm confused now. :derpyderp2:

I don't get it... :applejackconfused:

Dear God...

Twilight's dead, isn't she? Sucky. Well done, though.


A bit confusing and appears to withhold any information about what's really going on, but I liked it.


Twilight managed to cast the spell, somehow, but didn't finish the math. Presumably she was so consumed by it she died in the process. Her echo is being visited by Rarity/Cadance/etc to try to convince her to finally let herself fully pass on.


So basically the normal SS&E experience, then? :derpytongue2:

Huh, interesting. Makes me glad that I never really got into maths. Being stuck in limbo must suck.

Cheers for this little gem, Skirts.


Kicking this Celestia's big white butt now. :ajbemused:

Damn, this is chilling, Skirts. You have a real knack for this sort of thing. There's such an art to the unsaid. :ajsleepy:

Am I correct that Celestia is enjoying the company of OLD friends at a somewhat unusual and damn high price?

Yeah, kicking her tail in for this, the monster...


Yeah, except that his friend is living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean…

So Twilight solved the riddle and cast the spell. Only she is now trapped in her own memories, in her horn, and only the other unicorns can meet her. Poor Twilight will never get that cup of coffee.:twilightoops:

The image is most likely from a notecard for an intro level quantum mechanics exam.

2770400Why wouldn't it work? It makes sense.

What did I just read?
This tale could mean anything.
It was still good, though.

~Haiku Smythe

Wow. Okay, this is a pretty interesting piece. It's slightly more interesting how you toe the line between subtle and downright withholding with such precision when you're tired, too - hmm.

hay skirts when are you going to continue The end of ponies?:pinkiesad2:

I don't understand this story.

As usual you right bizarre, but very interesting, one shots and as usual I love it! Keep it up!

Aaagh, the fridge horror. :raritydespair:


I have no idea what is going on but it's sad nevertheless. :raritydespair: Personally, I think Twilight went insane and ending up literally working herself to death. Or everyone died and Twilight didn't notice. Regardless, GODDAMN. :raritycry:

So wait, how many of them are dead?

Nah, I thought the others were dead and she could see them somehow. I completely ignored the explanations of that Hypothesis.
But if she's dead and managed to cast the spell it would make sense how only other unicorns/alicorns could see her and not Spike. Or why both mortals and immortals could see her, which would not work if Twilight saw dead people.

Thanks for that explanation. Makes complete sense. I got it now. :twilightsmile:

Just Twilight I think. :twilightsmile:

As a person who occasionally doesn't sleep a day or two, I find it funny that I can relate to Twilight. The way she's like "I need to get this done before I sleep" and then ended up doing (/done) nothing. The way she passing up the time stuck up to something (even the trivial things) and forget there is much more to do in life like happiness that makes her brother surprised finding her spending her time like that. It's a shame that only unicorn can enter her memories. and talking to her in her last few minutes in her life.

;_; Always a good read. At first I thought it was a commentary on immortality, but then you hit me with the sting at the end. Yikes. Chills. Reread the whole story again. Teared up a bit.

Nice work. This is really good.

You can get mad at us for not getting it... but I no get it. Maybe she is insane?

Twilight can't sleep. She has an ancient and unfinished magic spell running circles in her mind. It's only when her friends visit that she begins to relax.

Only you could do a Sad story out of that synopsis... Dare I even read it? :ajbemused:

As I posted earlier :

Twilight managed to cast the spell, somehow, but didn't finish the math. Presumably she was so consumed by it she died in the process. Her echo is being visited by Rarity/Cadance/etc to try to convince her to finally let herself fully pass on.

I really need to name that unsettling feeling when one of your oneshots is out and it's NOT a comedy.
EDIT: Why do I keep doing this to myself?


appears to withhold any information about what's really going on

Not really. The explanation of the effects the spell was supposed to have tells you pretty much everything you need to know about what's going on, including why she only interacts with unicorns / alicorns in the story (hint: a basic synchronization spell).

The only thing that's deliberately left vague is her actual death (my personal theory is that she did the math wrong or the hypothesis was flawed from the start, and when she cast the spell it killed her, but was partially effective in preserving her soul... not her full essence, but something fractured and ghost-like, which is the reason her thought process was so confused and heavily influenced by her focus on the equation and momentary thoughts at the time of her death - like sending Spike for coffee).

I had some doubts regarding her coronation (was it real or just something her mind came up with? I was not sure whether Rarity was merely confused as to what Twilight meant by duties, being dead and all, or she genuinely did not know because Twilight never became a princess), but that would be pretty far fetched so I assume she became an alicorn, but was left mortal (no, Meghan, I'm not eating that up, nice try, though).

"Confound that Skirts, he drives me to overanalyze."

- Me

So i stared at the cover pic for a while and worked out that the answer is 42

Thanks man, you made me fully understand this.
At first I thought she was just so caught up in the spell she didn't notice time passing, or maybe that she or the others were dead, but this makes more sense.

What's great about this story is that it's a perfect metaphor for all us science major kids (especially after seeing Quant. Mech. stuff in the image up there).

But I think that's what made me like this story: the idea of obsession that can grab hold a little too well. Poor Twilight never stood a chance...

Good story as always skirts. :twilightsmile:

This was fun to read but I have sad now. :fluttershysad: One small thing though when Princess Celestia is talking to Twilight she says

“The Clover Hypothesis Eauation.”

Is that supposed to be Equation?


I wish I knew what was going on.
Still good though.

What? :applejackconfused:

Dammit, guys. Fine! If my opinion is just a minority report and that in-obvious, I'll spell it out. (I like this one, it's creepy)

Twi's not dead, yet. She's getting older and older, I think, but that's not what causes the chills.

Starswirl succeeded. He now spends time with Celestia, who is happy to enjoy his company…

…in Twilight's body.

She is losing her whole life as a puppet to Starswirl the Bearded, and her friends never see her because somepony else is always 'driving' her body. It's shocking to Shining Armor that he gets to spend a moment with her, and Cadance is very guilty and hammering home the point of how precious it was to spend time with Twilight. And then Twilight turns away- and is gone, again, and the next person Cadance sees is greedy Starswirl again, back in charge.

“Could you imagine being able to talk to Starswirl again? So many centuries after his death?”
Celestia very calmly nods. “Yes, Twilight. I can.”

:applejackconfused: chilling...


Hmm... Still think Celestia was talkin about Twilight, and it's her horn that they're talking to, or whatever. Either way, Twilight dead.

That was a great story, Skirts. I twigged on to what was happening in my first reading, then I re-read it with that knowledge; and god it was sad. I teared up at the end: seeing Twilight subconsciously aware that she was going to die and Celestia dispelling her fears and helping her move on. . . argh! I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

I had to wonder though, at the end, is it really Celestia, or is it Luna? You had this very short, subtle hint:

Her pale features are as smooth as porcelain, like a full moon. Is it night outside the palace?

which would suggest it being Luna disguised as Celestia, or something similar. Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but it seems possible. :shrug:


Luna disguised as Celestia. Welp, now I'm freaked out.

At first I thought she had simply wasted her life on the equation, but with all the location swapping and foreshadowing, it was much worse than that.

So... Twilight compleated the equation, but doing so killed her, and now the various unicorns in her life are talking to her memories of solving the equation.

I think.

Left a little bit too much information out to really grab me.

Did no one else notice the early hint

Sometimes I wish I could just take my skull clean off.

And then later:

he even gave her his skull and horn so she could accomplish what he couldn't.

Seems to me that Twilight is dead, but continues living through her horn, and refuses to allow her life to pass on from there.
However, a coma would more readily explain her feeling of beiing cold.
Still, being dead, or even just a skull would explain Shining's fears

I-I was just afraid. I was afraid of what I'd see or hear, but it's you! It's really you...”

...but Shining promised to come back, and visit her again, and we don't get any indication that he doesn't mean it.

And yet Celestia seals the deal for death:


“Yes, Twilight?”

“Will... will you be here wh-when I wake up again? So long as y-you're not mad at me for sl-sleeping in?”

She leans in. She nuzzles me and whispers, “I'll be here for as long as you need me, my apprentice.”

So, ShortSkirts, you horrible bastard, you made Twilight a partial self, stuck in the stillborn task of solving The Clever Hypothesis Equation, and finally being convinced to pass on by Celestia. :flutterrage:
... :fluttercry:


That would be extremely OOC for... pretty much everyone involved, except perhaps Starswirl, if he was really that selfish. I thoroughly doubt that Celestia would be able to enjoy his company in such a state even if she wanted to.

Really, I think Celestia doing the whole

“Could you imagine being able to talk to Starswirl again? So many centuries after his death?”

Celestia very calmly nods. “Yes, Twilight. I can.”

is really because she is able to talk to Twilight after her death, and so can imagine such a concept.

Also, I think Shining was shocked at it really being her because he's talking to a dead unicorn through their horn. I imagine looking at either a dead body or perhaps just a skull would be enough to make him think that she wasn't really there, or that it wasn't really her.

Personally, I like to think that Twilight was passing away of natural causes, albeit prematurely judging from the relative ages of the others, and used the equation as it was intended to preserve her mind as a resource for others.

Regardless of the circumstances of how she came to be that way, I don't think there was any mistake in the casting of the spell/equation... I think the way the spell works is to give the mind something to constantly be working on, thereby preserving it well after death. That's the cost of extending consciousness "months or years" after passing on... Solving it would defeat he purpose of it, and a unicorn can hold out as long as they can keep working on it.

The spell works... It's just somewhat heartbreaking.

Okay, I have NO IDEA what I just read. None. I am confused, sir.

Login or register to comment