• Published 15th Oct 2013
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Thirty Days, Thirty Twilights - Esle Ynopemos

A daily-updated collection of short stories featuring the loveliest of lavender librarians.

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30: This Place [Slice of Life]

((Prompt: Celestia remembers.))

There was no name for this place.

If, indeed, it could be called a place at all. Though Celestia had visited often throughout her long reign, she was no closer now than she had been a thousand years ago to articulating a satisfying description of what, precisely, this place was. It was not a place with any concern for things like location, position, or boundaries.

If pressed, Celestia would have described it as the sense of vertigo one got when they peered down into a deep chasm. It was the feeling of weightlessness a pony would get just before they fell asleep. The vague inkling of perspective that came when one laid on their backs on a clear, dark night and considered the fact they were a nigh-invisible speck upon a mote of dust that was drifting silently across an endless void.

But that still wasn't quite what this place was.

Celestia sat, tranquil and unmoving. Points of light floated all about her. Perhaps they were stars; she couldn't know for sure. There was no air, but she had no trouble breathing. There was no ground, but she did not fall. She was lit from below by a soft light that did not seem to have a source.

Sometimes she would come here for nothing more than the joy of it. Merely to bask in the sea of light, to watch transfixed as a cosmic ballet slowly whirled around her. It was peaceful here, and her worldly concerns had a way of melting away whenever Celestia chose to linger.

But it was not truly a place of meditation. That still was not quite what this place was.

Celestia stood up, and the lights around her changed. They drew closer to one another. The lights formed shapes which became clearer as they coalesced. Images. Sounds. If Celestia devoted her attention more closely to one, she could even catch feelings from them.

From what Twilight Sparkle had seen of this place during her own visit, she could be forgiven for believing that these images were no more than records of the past. That had been for a reason.

This place was not a record of the past. That was not quite what this place was.

The images before Celestia were of many pasts. Some that had happened, some that may have happened, some that could never have happened. There were images of the present; the way things were, the way they might have been, the way things could not possibly be. There were images of futures that could happen, futures that were certain, and futures that could never be.

There was one thread that connected this whole tapestry of past, present and future, of possibility and impossibility. One constant that, no matter what else there was, all of the images shared. Twilight Sparkle.

Celestia watched as a thousand different lives of her faithful student unfolded before her. Here, she found love—or rather, love sailed in on a schooner and found her. There, she set off on a quest to rescue her friends from within books. Celestia laughed as she saw Twilight red-faced and stammering, her lover scrambling to cover up their affair with comically little success. Celestia wept as she saw her dear student fall to the ground, bleeding.

This place was accessible to Twilight, now, but if she were to search for them, Twilight would never see these images, apart from the ones that depicted the past as she had experienced it. It was beyond the capacity of a sane mind to witness all of the ways one's own self might have been different.

But Celestia could remember for her. She could cheer her student on for a thousand different triumphs she might not have made. She could wish her the best with a thousand different lovers. She could mourn her fall a thousand different ways.

Celestia could remember, and so a thousand Twilight Sparkles that never were, were remembered.

Perhaps that was what this place was.

Celestia's ears perked as a new image emerged. “My dear, faithful student,” she said, smiling and turning to give it her attention, “what new adventure have you in store for me now?”

Author's Note:

The end.

It's been a ride, folks. Thank you, all of you, for sticking with me and making it a memorable one. It's been feedback from readers like you that has kept me going at this day after day.

Be sure to check out my blog post, where I've got statistics and tidbits about this six-month-spanning series, as well as some shout-outs and thank-yous.

Where to next? Celestia only knows... :trollestia:

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