• Published 3rd Apr 2014
  • 4,473 Views, 153 Comments

The Dark Side Of The Sun - ocalhoun

Celestia will always struggle with the pain and shame of what happened that fateful night, but it's nothing compared to what happened next.

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Chapter 2 ~ The Broken Window

I hurt. My body was an empty pit, lined with razor wire. My legs were frozen in place, too stiff to move.

I peeled open my eyes. The light from the newly risen sun seared them. Had I risen the sun? I didn't remember. And why did it burn me? Attuned with it as I was, I had always been able to look directly at it without any problem.

I rolled to my side and lifted my head. I immediately regretted it. Rubble from the ruined dais ground into my aching back, and a splitting headache like none I had ever felt before shot into my skull. Stars swam in my vision.

Voices percolated into my head. They mumbled and echoed strangely; I couldn't make out what they said.

I opened my eyes again. I wasn't looking into the sun this time, but they still burned as if filled with acid.

The remains of a stained glass window caught my eyes. It once depicted my sister and me. Now, Luna's place in the window was obliterated, along with most of the decorations. My image remained recognizable, though cracks radiated through it and a big piece was missing from my chest.

“Princess!” A pause. “Princess... can you hear me?”

I spun around to find the source of the voice and gasped as the slash along my side – a parting gift from Nightmare's razor-sharp armor – tore open again, releasing a fresh gout of blood.

“Princess! You're hurt!” A light brown stallion stood over me. I thought I remembered him from the castle staff... but for some reason, I couldn't remember a name. Why not? I always could before. He knelt down beside me. “Here, let me help you get–”

“Get away from me!” My voice sounded strange – hoarse and dry. I swung a hoof at him, which he dodged easily. “Let me die in peace.”

What had I done? I looked where my sister had been standing. Only a black mark on the floor remained. I just sent my only sister – my only true friend – to the moon for a thousand years.

My heart sank at the thought of what that would do to a pony. Would she forget about me? Forget the taste of water and the smell of food? Would she forget how to speak? Forget the very meaning of fun... or love? I groaned. Luna would come back a ruined husk of herself, driven mad by a thousand years of Nightmare Moon's poisonous hate.

What was I thinking? How could I have done–


I lashed out, intent on silencing the impudent colt. I sent the full force of my magic against–

I screamed. The attempt to do magic sent a thousand burning needles through my head. My firebolt died before it began, fizzling out into a few tiny sparks. I dropped back down to the jagged stones, heedless of the way they cut into my face and chest.

“Princess, let me help you.” The stallion laid a hoof on my shoulder.

I glared at him with clenched teeth. I couldn't keep the pain out of my face, and I couldn't stop the tears of loss, but I gave him an untempered dose of my impotent rage. “LEAVE!”

I let my face fall back into the crushed marble of the dais. I didn't care about the dust soaking into my tear-streaked face. I didn't care about the pain of hard rocks grinding into my wounds. None of it mattered, not without Luna.

“Oh... okay.” The stallion backed away. I could hear his hesitant footsteps crunching against the crushed stone. He stopped for a moment. “I'll just go get help then.”

I ground my face into the stone and let the tears flow. Luna was gone, nothing would ever be the same again, and it was all my fault. My little sis had always been there for me. She laughed with me in the good times and cried with me when my mortal friends died... but not anymore. She was gone for a thousand years, and even when she finally came back, nothing would ever be the same between us. I had just destroyed my sister – the only friend I could count on through the endless ages. Why did it have to happen? Why didn't I see the signs sooner?

I deserved every shred of the pain wracking my body. I deserved worse.

* * *

I stretched my legs, reveling in the soft warmth of my favorite sheets. That had been one heck of a nightmare. I decided to never repeat what I'd done before going to sleep... as soon as I could remember what that was.

The afternoon sun shone in through my window. This must have been one of those days when I had risen the sun and gone back to bed.

I let out a contented yawn.

“How are you feeling, Princess?”

I rolled over to find a nurse sitting on a stool next to my bed. She looked at me with wide blue eyes, and she held up a glass with her magic. “Would you like some water?”

Now that she mentioned it, I was parched. I nodded. Helpful, but why was there a nurse in my bedchambers?

“Good.” She levitated the glass to my lips, and I drank greedily. “Doctor Heartstitch said you need to keep hydrated – you lost a lot of blood.”

Reluctantly, I took my mouth away from the glass. “Wha-what happened?”

“You don't remember?” She tapped a hoof to her chin. “Maybe that's for the best. Everypony says it was a terrible fight. I'm glad I wasn't there.”

Fight? No... it couldn't have been... I sat up, or tried to. I fell back down into the bed with a wince. The whole left side of my body hurt horribly. Afraid to believe it, I touched my side, feeling the long, thin bandage stuck there... right where Nightmare had sliced me with her shin guard in my dream.

Only... it wasn't a dream, was it? My heart imploded.

“Let me tell you, I was as glad as anypony to finally see the sun coming up, though, and I support you completely.” The nurse kept chattering on, oblivious. “You know, I never cared for Princess Luna that much, actually. I'm not really surprised she turned out like this. You never can trust things that lurk in the–”

I screamed at her, giving voice to my rage and pain.

She looked back at me with a start. When she saw my face, the glass dropped from her magic and shattered on the floor.

You.” I let all of the accusatory venom I felt come through in my voice. “It's ponies like you who did this to her.”

“I, uh... I didn't–”

“All she wanted was for you to love her! All she wanted was for somepony to look at her beautiful night sky and enjoy it!”

“Um, Princess, are you–?”

You destroyed her! You created Nightmare Moon!” I could feel the fire running through me, channeling into my horn.

“I never–”

“Of course you didn't!” I snarled. The nurse's face reflected the red flames running up my horn. “Nopony ever thought about what Luna wanted – about how Luna felt!” My flames spread to the bed. “It's all your fault!”

The flames flared, and the nurse scrambled out of the room.

It was the ignorance, the apathy, the baseless fear of ponies like her that drove Luna into madness. They were the ones responsible for–

I noticed the flames licking at my bookshelf across the room and playing across the ancient books. I didn't care about most of them anymore – they no longer mattered to me... but there was one, sitting on the very top, that did still matter.

With an act of will, I quashed the flames. They vanished in an instant.

I reached out with my magic and brought the old photo album over to the smoking remains of my bed. Good. It had only been a little singed around the edges. I ran a hoof along the deep blue cover. The book had been Luna's idea, of course.

I cracked it open at random. Little flakes of burnt paper fluttered down from the edge of the page. Sepia photos of the two of us in front of the Cloud Spire smiled back at me. Our trip to Las Pegasus in twelve hundred nineteen, of course. Cameras were still quite a new invention back then.

I smiled and sighed, remembering how Luna had loved the idea of capturing memories on photographic plates. She had insisted on an endless series of photos, everywhere we went... at least until the novelty of it wore off.

I flipped the page. One picture drew my attention. It held my gaze and pierced my heart. The two of us stood at the top of the Cloud Spire under a bright summer sun, and a crowd of enthusiastic pegasus ponies mobbed around us... or, rather, around me. Luna stood alone at the edge of the crowd with the slightest hint of a frown on her face, looking down at the floor.

That was over eight hundred years ago... How long had I been ignorant of Luna's unhappiness? How long had I ignored the signs and let my sister suffer in silence?

I closed the album and tossed it aside. I had been wrong to accuse that nurse. I was the monster. I was the one who tortured Luna with my apathy. I was the one who drove her into madness and her desperate cry for attention. Me.

I flopped limply onto the ashes of my bed, seeking nothing but oblivion. There could be no doubt – I was the worst sister in history.