• Member Since 30th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen May 20th

Pale Horse

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." – Benjamin Franklin


Finding herself unable to sleep, Princess Celestia occupies her mind by penning a letter to Twilight Sparkle. But for a weary princess, the mind has a tendency to wander...

Written for Equestria Daily's Writer's Training Grounds #7.

Dramatic readings available courtesy of Goombasa and PhantomBrony.

Cover art by unknown artist; modified version by Goombasa.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 160 )

This one is very sweet, and a little morose.

I really love the mood of this story. As someone who deals with a lot of insomnia, I can very much relate to it, and it felt perfectly right. The dwelling on past sorrows. The wandering, stream-of-consciousness thought. The desire to reach out to someone, and feel close, in the lonely hours of the night. The thoughtfulness and the lowering of emotional walls.

I could picture myself in Celestia's place effortlessly. And I think it's wonderful that you could capture all that feeling in a letter.

I cannot facve this fast enough... Eh heh, yea so This is perfect to me, in the representation of Celestia I would think. and it has intrigued me greatly, I would wish to see more... but at the same Time I wouldn't mind if there isn't because this feels like a beautifully closed story in and of itself.:twilightsmile:

Le Magnum Opus of a great ruler if it was none, brilliance in the form of a letter, well done and keep up the good work.

I am immensely grateful to know that I can rely upon you and your sister in times of need, and I sincerely appreciate your help.

Are you talking about Cadence? Because she's Twilight's sister-in-law, not sister. Maybe it's a shortening of the phrase, or maybe Tia's really out of it. I dunno. :applejackunsure:

And honestly, that's my only real contention with this sweet, sweet story. It's a poignant letter that really shows Celestia's softer side. In fact, I think you've successfully captured what a sleep-deprived Celestia would sound like, even though we've never had an example of that in the show nor the comics. Bravo, my friend. Bra-vo. :moustache:

Sometimes I simply wouldn't sleep at all, for days, even weeks at a time. I realize this sounds unpleasant, and indeed, it can be taxing, but as I said, alicorns have considerable stamina.
This is not, by the way, permission for you to stay up studying for days on end. I expect Spike to warn me if you try.

Besides, writing in a diary always felt a little like talking to myself, and I thought that was rather silly.
No, that doesn't mean you and your friends can stop doing it.

:trollestia: Do as I say, not as I do

The only thing that really jumped out at me was when your referenced her other students. Unless Clover or any of her other students became immortal somehow, I don't see how they could visit Celestia over a century later.

Other than that, this is a great story. I really like the mood, it flows well, and it feels like I am reading a letter, which isn't as easy as it might sound.

All in all, a great one shot.

They weren't.
And they didn't.

3944347 Ooooooooohhh, I get it. Didn't realize what you meant there. They aren't still alive, but Celestia wrote them letters as if they still were alive, right?

Not writing. Talking.
The Doctor tells her it's healthy, but she isn't so sure.

3944371 My Grandpa died when I was five. I talk to him on occasion myself.

I think it is completely natural.

oh man, Twilight is gonna freak out sooo bad :facehoof:

The Doctor....Not A doctor but THE Doctor. She talks to the time lord The Doctor, doesn't she?

3944343 I imagined her speaking to their portraits, imagining their responses.

That's what I thought when I first read it too. :raritywink:

I want Twilight's reply!

I am immensely grateful to know that I can rely upon you and your sister in times of need

Am I to assume this is a slip up from an insomniac Celestia? Or did Shining Armour get a sex change?

Since a couple of people have asked about this, Celestia is, in fact, referring to Cadance here.

Very, very well done. I would LOVE to see more insomniac letters from our dear princess... maybe letters from other princesses too, like Cadance, Luna, and maybe a reply from Twilight.

I liked that. It was really sweet. Insta-fave :pinkiehappy:

That was amazing. I would love to see more of these letters. Even if you don't write more, this is still a great one-shot.

Do not mistake my meaning, Twilight. I am immensely grateful to know that I can rely upon you and your sister in times of need,

wait, sister?

Otherwise, a impressively writ letter, with a gradual slip from formality and conscious thought to informality and unconscious feeling that does the story well. Nothing unusual in its originality, but if this is a work of cliche than it is a work of cliche that is done well, better than many are.

My own small suggestion - the immediate moment after Celestia sends this letter, when Twilight has just received and read it. Her half of this would be interesting, I think.

That was truly fantastic.

I am assuming that this means sister-in-law, that is, fellow Princess of Equestria Cadance.

Well done.
Keep up the good work. Deus tecum.

One dislike? I guess someone missclicked it!!! :pinkiecrazy:

Gotta say...I love these simple yet moving oneshots. Beautiful and simple. Simple. That's the key to this story's beauty.

Nicely done.

That was... glorious. Absolutely amazing. Kudos.
Like and fave for you.

That... was beautiful.

Just wow

This was good. Its nice to see a story that shows us what is likely the more personal side of Celestia. We don't get to see much of that in the show, though we did see a little in the comics. Good job.

Sweet, sentimental and ends on a bright and hopeful note. All the moustaches. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:


It just seems out of place, even when we can believe it to be correct. Considering there's never a mention of Cadence prior to or after this instant, nor does she have a single iota of prescence in this story, giving her a single iota is sort of an odd tingle, like a sudden blip on the radar that vanishes just as quickly.

Is she.....Did she just.....die?

Great read man, worth every word, line and phrase.

I think I know where you got the 10,191 from... :raritywink:

I would throw myself down on my hooves, and beg them to tell me what I could have done.

It might be better to say something like "I would throw myself down on my stomach" or their knees, as they already stand on their hooves.

It also seems like it would be more in character that, after spilling all of the beans, to end the letter with just "Celestia".

Absolutely wondrous. Bravo. The longer the letter went on, the more I felt for Celestia. Her sadness at what she had to do to Luna, her happiness at Luna's return, her understanding of others around her, her talking to loved ones long gone... It was all really quite touching. :)

Very touching and human.


Yes. If not, this was a very beautiful piece of work. Cudos. :heart:

Doctor...I can imagine Who she means


Slain? :twilightoops:

A bit more polite way of saying 'blew da fuck UP. Dayum that was cold(see what I did there?[I'm so sorry])'

Dehorned, at the very least. But since there's no body, I think his death is only as permanent as Hasbro and the writing staff agree it is. Ditto for Chrysalis.


Only one thing I have in response to your comment:

It's been confirmed, though I have lost the source (I think it was Meghan McCarthy's Twitter) that Sombra did, indeed, die. The crystal heart killed him.


An excellent dive into the psyche of Equestria's monarch. Between the show and the comics, we only ever get a few scant glances into the kind of pony Celestia really is--what she thinks, what she feels, what brings her joy, and what makes up her greatest fears. It's thanks to wonderful writers such as yourself that we get to explore and fill in those gaps of our understanding, turning a two or even one dimensional fictional character into a living person. Well done! :pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

3945142 3945321 3945899
Seconded, seconded, seconded!! :ajsmug::pinkiesmile::rainbowlaugh::raritywink::twilightsmile::yay::trollestia:

Awesome. And thank you, for writing a proper, balanced, introspective Celestia, one who feels old and thoughtful, without succumbing to the "oh, living forever is awful, I only do it for my subjects". You wrote a good "living forever is HARD, but I'm not miserable, far from it", so that you didn't ruin the overall happy Celestia.

I love this. Very good read. Could you have another chapter or a sequel where twilight replies? :twilightsheepish::twilightsmile:

This was a great and very deeply moving picture of Celestia. Beautiful. The further I read the more I could feel her sorrow, gratitude and depth of character. You have managed to make me feel her age while still keeping her fresh in some ways. Thank you for the fantastic little read.

Now then... I want to see Twilights reaction to this and possibly Spikes too. A sequel or better yet a second chapter would be great.

Regardless. Fav and like well deserved.:twilightsmile:

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