• Published 13th Dec 2013
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Secrets Shine Brighter - MemoryLane



Ponyville wakes up one morning to find that their deepest darkest secret is written in magical paint on their houses. There is at least one point in time where a pony makes a horrible mistake, can they band together to save who they really are?

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Chapter 1: Twilight's Secret

The night had been restless for Twilight. She had spent the majority of the night rolling around in her bed, desperately trying to get comfortable. Normally, falling asleep never took longer than a few minutes, even if she had had been on one of her all night study sessions. However, last night was not the case.

She let out a guttural groan upon waking up for the umpteenth time that night. She just wished her brain would cooperate with her and,let her fall asleep and get the rest she needed.

A dull light fought through her closed eyelids, prompting her to sigh. It must be morning, great…

She peeked open an eye, but only barely, to get a look at her surroundings. None of it was new to her. Her room had been the exact same as it had always been. Her lavender bedsheet was a familiar sight, for certain. The bedstand to her left, which held a still full glass of water and her hairbrush prompted her to open both of her eyes a little wider. Her throat was incredibly dry and scratchy. She let out a light cough as her throat came in contact with air.

Even though her thoughts were scrambled from the lack of sleep, that did not stop her from accurately using her magical abilities. She sat up in bed, shivering as the cold air hit her damp coat. She greedily gulped down the water, grasping it in both of her hooves as well as her magic. The water felt like absolute heaven as it slid down her throat, and when her lips parted from the glass, she panted for air.

Only when she set the glass back down on the bedstand did she notice that the entire room was enveloped in a dark grey. She wondered if it was perhaps raining outside, but tossed that idea aside almost immediately upon multiple small realizations.

With a pained noise, she removed her covers and slipped out of bed. She had many things that she needed to get accomplished today, however it seemed as though her curiosity was going to be her highest priority. After doing a tiny stretch, and a moment of attempting to wake up her aching mind, she wandered over to the window.

She rested two hooves on the windowsill and peered outside. Her mouth parted just a little upon the sight. Ponyville was completely blanketed by a thick layer of fog.

Everything was a dark grey, a shade that she had really not come to like. The fog was so dense, she struggled to see the nearest house, which was only about seventy-five feet away.

“Rainbow Dash didn’t tell me there would be fog today…” Twilight mused aloud. It was strange, that was for sure. Rainbow Dash always knew what the weather would be, as she was one of the main weather managers for the Ponyville area. She was always kind enough to share when the weather was going to take a turn for the worst. That being said, Twilight didn’t even talk to Rainbow yesterday. Surely the pragmatic pegasus would've warned somepony of the incoming fog, right?

Twilight sighed inwardly, and turned tail. She was too tired to think about it. She had things to get done, and lots of studying and tidying up to do. She magically grasped her hairbrush and ran it through her mane, which was currently an absolute mess. She had a terrible habit of rubbing her head against her pillow while she slept, and it had less than favorable results.

“Twilight? Are you awake?” A small voice hollered from downstairs. Twilight’s ears perked upwards at the sound of her assistant. She finished brushing her mane, and hurriedly tossed the brush on the bed, not wanting to keep Spike waiting.

“Yes! I’m awake, Spike!” Twilight called back down to him. His response consisted of what Twilight thought to be the sound of dishes hitting the floor. Twilight grinned, and rolled her eyes as she made for the stairs. Spike may have been a klutz, but he was her klutz.

Twilight Sparkle trotted downstairs, through the library, and into the kitchen. Everypony had always said that it was strange that a library came with kitchen, even though it was also a house. Twilight thought it odd at first as well, and after a little research she found out that the library was once an activity center.

“Hey, you!” Twilight greet Spike happily. Somehow, she had already gotten over her sleepiness. She was more of a morning pony, anyways.

“Hey, Twi!” Spike replied, chipper than ever. He was wearing a cooking apron that read “Kiss The Chef!” in purple letters. Twilight had actually gotten him that for his birthday a few months ago. Ever since he had been putting it on every time he picked up a single dish. Spike flipped a haycake into the air, and Twilight watched as it flopped back into the skillet.

“Sleep well?”

“Absolutely not! That the was most horrid night I’ve had in a long time!” Twilight groaned. She ran a hoof over her face, humorously stretching it out. Spike giggled.

“Well what do you expect when you stay up until two in the morning staring at tiny letters in a book?” Spike countered. He expertly flipped a haycake onto a plate, and slid it over to Twilight, who quietly thanked him. “I like a good read every now and then, but I’m sure doing that isn’t healthy for you.”

Twilight shrugged, and poured a little bit of maple syrup over her haycake before picking up a fork. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day, I suppose…” Spike nodded half-heartedly and turned back to his cooking.

There was a small awkward silence between the two before Twilight spoke up again.

“I can’t believe that Rainbow Dash forgot to mention this fog to me. I mean, it’s so visually impairing that I’m almost sure that there are ponies outside running into each other,” Twilight said, before sticking another piece of her breakfast into her mouth. Spike was going to speak up, but Twilight had already swallowed by that point. “The weather sure is a strange thing.”

“I’m not an expert, but I think that somethings are even too harsh for weather control to fix. I’m sure Rainbow Dash will come by soon and whip this fog away.” Spike replied. Twilight agreed, though she couldn’t be too sure. Rainbow had a tendency of… putting off important things that needed to get done. It was how they met, after all.

“Enjoying breakfast?”

Twilight nodded, her mouth once again full of food.

Suddenly, a knock rang throughout the library. Twilight tilted her head, and turned to look at the mounted clock on the other side of the kitchen. It was 7:45 in the morning.

“Huh, that’s strange,” Twilight mumbled. Spike turned off the stove, carefully took off his apron, and followed Twilight to the door.

“Coming!” she hollered.

In a flash, Twilight jerked open the door. The butter-colored body on the other side slightly jumped, before regaining its composure. “U-u-uh. H-hello, Twilight…” Fluttershy said, trailing off to look at the ground. For some reason, she just could not seem to look at Twilight in the face. Behind the pegasus, was a complete wall of grey, however Twilight ignored this. She grinned at her friend.

“Hi, Fluttershy. You’re here awful early.” Twilight said. Fluttershy peered upwards for a second, before it darted back to the ground, nearly locking eyes with Spike.

“Y-Yeah, I a-am.” Fluttershy stammered. Twilight noticed her incessant shaking, and Spike noticed her gaze. It was even more off-putting that unusual.

“Uhm, can I do something for you? I can’t really talk or hang out right now. I got a few things I have to do first.” Twilight explained, taking a small step forward. Fluttershy reeled back, her eyes wide. Twilight flinched as she saw tears begin to form in the poor mare’s eyes.

“Are you okay?” Spike asked seconds before Twilight. To their surprise, Fluttershy actually responded with a vigorous shake of her head. For a minute, Twilight thought that she was about to have a panic attack. She had a feeling that Fluttershy would be at risk, and she silently considered asking her to lie down for a moment. This was way too much, even for her.

“Twilight…” Tears freely fell from Fluttershy’s face as she finally managed to look Twilight in the eyes. “Something b-bad is h-h-happening…”

Twilight and Spike shared strange glances, before they turned back to her. “What do you mean ‘something bad’?”

“N-no pony knows w-who could have d-done it. Everypony woke up this morning to find horrible things written on their house. It’s...the red paint… it won’t come off…”

Twilight put a hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder, but she quickly backed away. Things written on the walls? What is she talking about?

“Wait, hold on! Calm down!” Twilight felt a tinge of sadness at having Fluttershy pull away from her, but then again getting close to her probably was not something good to do at this point in time. Fluttershy glanced at Twilight, then Spike, and then the floor. After a few good minutes, Fluttershy’s shaking ceased.

“Please, tell us what’s going on…”

“Everypony woke up this morning, and…” her eyes began watering, but she blinked furiously, determined to not begin crying again. “Somepony did something horrible. S-Somepony knows our deepest darkest secrets, T-Twilight. So they wrote them in big letters on our houses…”

Twilight’s jaw dropped as Fluttershy continued. “The paint won’t come off…”

There was a long pause before Twilight held a hoof out to Spike. “Uh, stay here for a second.” Spike cocked his head, before crossing his arms and pursing his lips.

“What? Why?”

Twilight ignored Spikes protests, even though he obeyed. Walking slowly, she maneuvered past Fluttershy, who followed her. Using her magic, Twilight closed the door, slamming it in Spike’s face. An audible “ow!” was heard from the other side.

Twilight walked out a ways with her friend, before turning around. She immediately felt a stinging pain in her chest. Her heart had plunged deep into the ground as she read the words on the branches and tree trunk of her home. They were written in red, and projected themselves perfectly.

I HAD AN INCESTUOUS EXPERIENCE WITH MY BROTHER

Twillight was dumbstruck as she felt a large flow of blood rush to her cheeks. “I...I…” She felt something new burn inside her. She could not tell if it was that of embarrassment, or fury. When she fell upon her haunches, she confirmed that it was the former. “Who would… who would write these kind of things..?”

“I-I don’t know…” was her only response. Twilight’s mind flashed bright lights, and she almost felt like fainting. “But it won’t come off. I was up very early this morning to feed my chickens when I saw it written on my house. I scrubbed for an hour before I came over here…”

“This… is horrible! Why would somepony do this? I haven’t done anything to anypony!” Twilight stomped her hoof, before letting out a sigh. She hung her head low.

“It’s happened to everypony, Twilight. Everypony’s secrets are out in the open…” Fluttershy looked back down at the ground, still not able to look Twilight in the eye. She breathed in the cool air that the fog provided before mustering up her courage.

“Is… is it t-true?”

Twilight’s eyes snapped open with worry, and her pupils shrunk to the size of peas. With a tremendous mood shift, Twilight jumped to her hooves. “Of course not! Shining Armor is my brother! That’s disgusting!”

As if on cue, a small ding was heard before both mares turned their gaze back to the message. Twilight gulped as she realized that the letters were beginning to shine through the fog, radiating like beacons. Twilight knew what this meant.

“What… why did it do that?” Fluttershy asked, her gaze frequently shifting between Twilight and the letters. Twilight was the only one who knew the actual truth. It did not take her long to piece it together. She did not want to admit it, but if she refused, then she risked her hypothesis of the letters getting brighter. If they shone brighter, they’d protrude through the fog. And soon, everypony in town would take one look at the sky and see her secret. At least, that was what she thought would happen. She let out a large sigh.

“F-fine…” Twilight felt a little bit like crying, and dropped back to her haunches. She buried her head in her hooves. “Fine, yes. It’s true! Okay?!”

Fluttershy brought a hoof to her mouth, and gasped. “Twilight, how could you?”

“I… I was a child, alright?” A few tears streamed from Twilight’s face. Fluttershy bit the inside of her lip and set aside her judgement. She scooted a little closer to the unicorn and wrapped a hoof around her. “I was just a kid and I didn’t know any better…”

When Twilight did not hear a response, she continued. “It happened a while ago…”

***

“Oh come on! Where is it!?” Twilight exasperated. She shoved boxes, clothes, and even jewelry out from her parents closet. She knew it had to be there. There was nowhere else in the house she had not looked. While her parents were out, she had the perfect opportunity to do a little bit of snooping. Her rump was in the air as she made a mess out of the closet. “It’s gotta be in here!”

Behind her, Smarty Pants was sitting slumped against the adjacent wall. She stared at Twilight with a strange sense of curiosity. “Twilight… what are you looking for?” she asked. The stuffed animal stood up and wandered over to her, peering over her shoulder to get a look at just what Twilight was freaking out about. Twilight rolled her eyes.

“I already told you! My Hearth’s Warming Eve gift has to be in here! I checked all over the house! The attic, the pantry, even the basement, but nope!” Twilight smiled and grasped her stuffed doll, and set it down on the ground just a little bit closer to her. “I know they got me that new book on the pythagorean theorem! It’s all I’ve ever wanted and I wanna read it now!”

Smarty Pants pinched the bridge of her nose. “But Twilight, isn’t that the point of Hearth’s Warming Eve? As well as the fact that it’s supposed to be a surprise?”

“So?”

“Touché.”

With a need sense of confidence after winning an argument with a stuffed doll, Twilight grinned and turned back to the mess of a closet. She had been looking for the last ten minutes, but she refused to give up hope. She needed every single shred of information that she could get, and that pythagorean theorem formula was right in her to-do list!

“Twilight, it’s been a while. I don’t think it’s in there…” Smarty Pants finally spoke up. Twilight had noticed her shifting around in a bored manner. “Why don’t we go and do something else? I kind of wanted to make another book fort, or perhaps discuss the mental ability and superiority of the unicorn race?”

“Nah, we already did that like three times today.” Twilight replied. She had to admit, however, she was getting increasingly bored. But that was when another idea crossed her mind. The gift was not in her closet, nor her parents. So that only left one pony in the house. “I got it! It must be in Shining Armor’s room!”

Smarty Pants groaned loudly.

“Come on! Let’s go!” Twilight shouted, grasping Smarty Pants in her mouth. The doll waved around wildly. Two sounds could be heard: one was of a gleeful giggling, the other was a pained scream.

Within moments a filly and doll both appeared on the outside of Shining Armor’s room. She had remembered that she needed to knock before entering, lest she bring the Wrath of Shining Armour down upon herself.

She rapped on the door twice but she received only silence in response. Twilight’s smile grew larger as she dropped Smarty Pants on the floor. She quickly stood up when Twilight opened the door. “Whoops! No one’s home, time to go!” Smarty Pants tried to make a quick escape, but Twilight had already enveloped the doll in her magic. She tried to fight the magic, but it was in vain.

“That’s the point, Silly-Pants!” she chuckled, before setting the still-struggling doll on the floor, leaning up against the wall right next to the door. “Keep watch for me! Say something if he comes into the hallway!” Before Smarty Pants had the chance to say anything, the filly had already disappeared inside.

“Aye, aye, captain…” she sighed.

Once inside, Twilight immediately ran for the closet. She knew her brother. If there was anything worth stashing, surely it would be in there. She was certain that her mother had set him up to this. She was too smart for them though! She opened the door to the closet…

And hollered as a small mountain of stuff fell on top of her. She squirmed and fought her way from under the smelly pile of worn clothes. Looking back on it, she probably could have thought that through a little better. As soon as she reached the surface, she gasped for air. She embraced the fresh air as she tried to get the intoxicated mess in her lungs out. “I’m… okay…!”

Only when she tried to adjust her body was when her hoof came in contact with paper. Her expression shifted from disgust, to a cheerful grin. “Bingo!” she shouted. She scrounged around the pile in search of the item in particular, but at this point it was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

After a few minutes of tossing dirty clothes everywhere, she had finally gotten a grip of it. “Aha! Gotcha!” she cried, as a brand new feeling of fulfillment washed over her. Her mission was a success! Now she just needed to reel in her prize. She used her magic to finish fishing it out.

It was a soft book, and much smaller than she would expect a book on mathematical equations to be. On it was a silhouette of what she thought was an earth pony mare, showing herself seductively to those who wished to gaze upon the cover.

Twilight cocked an eyebrow, and read the name of one of the articles on the cover of what she just now realized was a magazine. “Fellatio, and other ways to thoroughly please a stallion”. Once again, her childish ambitions got to her, and she couldn’t resist herself as she flipped open the pages. If there was something in the world she did not understand, then it was her job to figure it out!

Very quickly, she opened up to the page with the article on it. She was not sure what “fellatio” meant. It was rare when she came across a word that she did not understand, but she assumed that if it made stallions feel good, then it must be some kind of unique massage.

Twilight read the entire article left to right, absolutely awestruck at the words that flowed from the page, not to mention the helpful pictures and diagrams. Never had she learned so much in just one sitting! It was like walking out of a toy store, only to find out that you still have money left and there is an even better store right next door.

By the time that she had finished reading the entire magazine, she felt a new sense of accomplishment. “Well! That’s enough research for today!” she exclaimed, slamming the magazine shut and throwing it back into the pile. She realized that it was too late when a bulky figure appeared in the doorway.

“Twilight!?” it roared. “What are you doing in my room? Everything’s a mess!” Shining Armor shouted. His coat was stained green, and his mane was still matted down with sweat from hoofball practice. Twilight rubbed her hooves together, nonchalantly.

“I’m sorry, I thought that… uh… my Hearth’s Warming Eve present was in here…” she sighed, finally coming to terms with the error of her ways. Shining Armor groaned. He never was one who enjoyed fighting with his little sister. After all, they had barely ever done it in the first place.

“Just… get out of my room.”

Twilight wiggled herself out from the pile she was still stuck in, and stared at her disappointed brother. She walked with her head down low, before an idea popped in her head. She quickly turned around, much to the chagrin of her brother. “Wait, Shining, you look a little stressed…”

Shining Armor was not amused. “Yeah, a little. I come home from a lousy game to find that my sister had ruined my room.” The grin on Twilight’s face grew a little wider.

“I think I have an idea!”

***

“...and that’s what happened...we didn’t do anything extreme, but I guess it still counts…” Twilight, for the first time in ten minutes, turned to look at Fluttershy. Her face was covered in a horrendous blush that painted almost her entire face. She tried to hide it with a cleverly placed hoof, but that just served to bring more attention to her face.

“I-I don’t know what to say…” she stammered. Twilight felt her own face grow hot. She felt absolutely miserable, and she honestly wanted to cry.

“I didn’t tell anyone this, until now. Shining and I made a pact upon realizing what had happened that day was wrong. I just didn’t want anyone to think of me any different…”

“Twilight! Oh course we don’t. You were a child, kids do… uhm, mischievous things at that age.” To Twilight’s surprise, Fluttershy gave her a warm smile. “You’re still the smartest pony in the world to me. Everypony, even.”

Twilight grinned back, but just not as brightly as she would have liked. “Thanks.” Twilight sighed, and looked back at the letters on her home that would continue to haunt her for the rest of her life. But there was something strange about it…

They were gone.

“Fluttershy!” At the sound of somepony calling her name, Fluttershy jumped. She realized how silly that was upon remembering that the only other pony with her was Twilight. “It’s gone!” Twilight’s companion looked up at the sky, and parted her lips. She was right. The letters that were there just a moment before were now gone, and the tree was back to looking like its usual self.

“But… how is that possible?” Fluttershy was not sure whether or not to express utter fear, or to be curious instead. Twilight tapped her chin with her hoof and thought. Occasionally mumbling to herself as she paced around Fluttershy, who remained quiet. After a few minutes of thinking, Twilight shouted.

“I’ve got it!” Fluttershy practically fell over at the loud noise, but she managed to keep her ground. “The letters glow when you don’t admit or just flat-out lie about your secret. They’re magically enchanted with a high-ranking spell. That’s what’s going on!”

“But… how do they-?”

Twilight was on a roll. “But! The moment that I fessed up and explained myself to someone close to me, then the letters began to dim until they eventually just disappeared.” Twilight stopped pacing, and Fluttershy was actually having a difficult time keeping track of the unicorn in the fog. “Don’t you see what the whole point of this is?”

“No…” Fluttershy trailed. She actually did understand, but she just did not want to be the one to say it.

“Somepony’s trying to teach us a lesson. Come on, we have to go and find the others!”