• Published 9th Jul 2013
  • 1,976 Views, 242 Comments

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Stories and poems too short for individual publication (including some award-winning minifics).

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The Slow Fall of an Unfamiliar Star

Author's Note:

Contains "Equestria Girls" content. However, to appreciate it, this is basically all you need to know:
In the first EqG movie, Twilight's love interest Brad Flash Sentry is explicitly identified as the ex-boyfriend of main villain Sunset Shimmer (who was banished to the EqG-verse from Equestria).

Author's notes follow in comments.

EDIT: Now with a dramatic reading, thanks to PresentPerfect!

It's a beautiful sunset, layering on the irony. The sky's full of fading clouds, heavy with an unwelcome and awkward purple but limned on the underside with a warmer and more familiar red. A bright yellow ball hangs just above the ground, bleeding its color across the horizon into the haze of distant Horseburg's agricultural dust. I hold up one hand, curling in my fingers to examine the brightly painted nails, and in the light of dying day, my skin is an old familiar orange that makes my heart ache with might-have-beens.

I'm in the school bell tower, alone. I'm not crying. I'm not.

The ghost of his memory walks up behind me. He rests his head on my shoulder, and we stare at the sun together. His hands are cold on my shoulders in the bite of the autumn air, but the outer shell of his jacket shares its borrowed sun-heat with my back. I can smell his — what's that word again? — aftershave, a sweet musk that would have curled my nose hairs Before The Portal, but which merely lingers at the edge of my faded senses, registering almost subconsciously.

If I block out the tower walls at the corners of my vision, it's just like we're on his rooftop, that first week after he found me unconscious.

"It's so strange," I mumble at him like I did then, crossing my arms over my chest where his should go, feeling the words slide out where once they stumbled through my lack of muzzle. "To watch this."

"Why?" his memory murmurs into my ear.

This time, I answer. "Sunset is so different from Equestria's. It takes so long to fall. And the shimmer I was named for is missing." Celestia's shimmer, the grip of her horn. My gut twists for a moment. Her counterpart has never been anything but polite and disinterested, but the way she looks at me sometimes, I wonder what she knows.

He's silent. We stare into the sun. Why didn't you tell me about your world?, he doesn't say.

Would you have stayed if I did?, I don't answer.

He holds me while the tiniest sliver of light sinks into the earth. The silence grows awkward.

"You could have been my king, you know," I say. I'm not bitter. I'm disappointed. "You only hurt yourself."

He still isn't speaking. Why isn't he speaking? "I wasn't asking you for much," I say. "Just to do my homework for a week or two while I researched how to break back through. To keep the principal off my tail while I located the portal. To help me steal the grounds key. Which I've got, no thanks to you." I lean back into his chest, the warm patina of the oversized bell. "I'm going to make this world into the paradise it was meant to be." An unwelcome gust of chilly wind, never touched by a pegasus, ruffles my hair. "Bring the magic back."

"Do you believe in magic?" the memory of his voice faintly echoes.

I don't have to believe, I told him once upon a time. I can look at the sunset with you, and know. That's when I first leaned into him, cheek to neck, and heard in his chest the quickening of his heart.

"Being with you," another distant memory whispers. "It's just so … magical."

I close my eyes and lean into his cheek. The metal of the bell is moist.

"The magic's gone," a third memory says, sharp and clear. "I … just don't know you any more."

My eyes snap open.

I'm in the school bell tower, alone. Why am I crying?

"I don't care about you," I force myself to say out loud. I wipe my tears on my sleeves and stand up straight. I point an accusing finger at the sun. "And I don't care about you!" I fling myself forward to the railing, and scream out at the world, "I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANY OF YOU!"

I don't, I repeat to nobody in particular, certainly not to the one who walked away, as I curl up in a tight little ball with the last rays of sunlight ascending the top of the tower. I don't. It doesn't matter. Just so long as I get my magic back.

Just one more week until the portal reopens. One week without him.

I stand up, with one final glance at the red of the horizon, and stumble down the stairs, closing the trapdoor behind me. I don't care. I really don't.

I'll keep saying that.

By the time I succeed, it might even be true.

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