• Published 27th Feb 2014
  • 806 Views, 18 Comments

A Night Too Long - Tumbleweed

Princess Luna recruits Fluttershy to save all of Equestria (whether she likes it or not).

  • ...

Chapter 1

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really.

A peal of thunder rattled the windows of Fluttershy's cottage, and the teeth of its inhabitants. Fluttershy reminded herself to make an appointment with the dentist, and pulled a small menagerie of rodents and birds closer to her, cowering in the light of a single lamp.

“Now now, it's just a little thunder, that's all. Nothing to be scared of.” Fluttershy wasn't sure if she was speaking for her animals' benefit, or her own, but she went on anyway. “The weather patrol was just a little bit behind on their precipitation quota, so they're just
trying to catch up, that's all.”

Another bolt of lightning flashed, lighting up the cottage clear as day for a split second.

“This is perfectly normal!” Fluttershy shrilled as she suddenly found herself beneath her kitchen table. “Somepony's probably just getting a little too enthusiastic with the thunderclouds. I heard that happens to Ditzy Do sometimes.”

Fluttershy cringed as another bolt of lightning struck somewhere entirely too close. “A lot of the time. But, the good news is, it's just a storm, that's all. As long as we're inside, we can stay safe and dry. There's nothing out there that can get us.”

Fluttershy's front door slammed open, hard enough to wrench the brass hinges in their frames. A cold, howling wind sprayed droplets of rain through the previously cozy home.

“It's just the wind!” Fluttershy said, hunching down beneath her wings. “Perfectly normal!”

Somepony tall, cloaked, and glowy-eyed appeared in the doorway.


The Royal Canterlot Voice echoed louder than the thunder ever could. Princess Luna, formerly Nightmare Moon, currently Princess of Darkness, strode into Fluttershy's cottage. She flared her wings, shadowing the scant light streaming in through the windows. It was as if Fluttershy's humble cottage was simply to small to contain Princess Luna's regal persona- a point proved literally as Luna's wings knocked small pictures and knicknacks from their places on the wall, sending them down to shatter on the floor.

“Fluttershy's not here! Nopony's here! Go away!” The yellow pegasus trembled beneath her table. “Please?” The various woodland creatures surrounding Fluttershy scattered in all directions, falling back on bottom-of-the-food-chain instincts.

Princess Luna trotted into the kitchen and flipped the table over with a dismissive flick of a forehoof. “My apologies, little one, but I fear I haven't the time for the typical pleasantries. You must-” Princess Luna glanced downwards and blinked, as Fluttershy had suddenly fled, leaving little more than yellow down in her wake.

“AH.” Princess Luna turned her volume down a hair lower than 'eardrum rupturing.' “My apologies, tiny peasant pony, I did not mean to cause thee alarm. Please, extracate thyself from thine hiding place.”

Nothing happened.


“Eep.” Said a vaguely Fluttershy-shaped lump behind the couch.

“AHA!” Luna's horn glowed, and she yanked the couch out of her way, sending it careening into a cabinet full of fine china. “There you are!”

“Please don't hurt me!” Fluttershy sobbed.

“Ah.” Luna faltered, just slightly. “Mayhaps I've been remiss in my introduction. Rest assured, fair Fluttershy, I mean you no harm.”

“You don't?”

“Of course not.”

“Then why did you break all my furniture?”

“I didn't break all of it!” Luna snapped, and then glanced around at some of the wreckage she'd produced. “Just...certain notable items. Worry not, you shall be duly compensated for the expense. That is, as long as you accompany me on my quest!”

“Quest?” Fluttershy peeked from beneath her mane. “That sounds frightening.”

“Of course it does! 'twould hardly be worthy of mine attention if it didn't!”

“And I have to go?”

“'tis of the utmost essence! The very fate of Equestria is at stake.”

“Oh my.” Fluttershy murmured, “that sounds really important. But, um, maybe you should try my friend Twilight, instead? She's much braver and much more magical than I am.”

“Had I more time, I would have spoken to Princess Twilight first. But, as it stands, she shall have to make do with the letter I sent- I came here directly, as your skills are the ones most needed. You see, gentle Fluttershy, I've been told that your talents in beast wrangling are legendary.”

“Beasts? You mean poor, sweet, cuddly animals?”

“Yes, those.” Princess Luna said, gesturing idly with one hoof.

“So there's an animal in trouble?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes. You are the only pony in all of Equestria who can help! Will you join me?”

“In that case,” Fluttershy drew herself up, “I'll do it. But, um, if you don't mind my asking, what kind of animal is it?”

“I shall explain the particulars while we're on the wing, fair Fluttershy. But we've wasted to much time already. Tally ho!” Before Fluttershy could say anything else, Luna scooped the quivering pegasus up in her forehooves and took to the air, a single beat of her wings carrying the pair through a large window. Fluttershy flinched, but the razor-edged shards of glass merely tumbled from Luna's coat like droplets of evening rain. The Princess of the Night beat her wings, and soon she ascended into the dark clouds above, soaring high enough to make Fluttershy's stomach turn.

“Um, Miss Princess Luna?” Fluttershy said, even as the wind blew hair into her eyes. “Do you think we'll be back by morning?”

“If we aren't swift enough, Fluttershy, there may not be a morning to return to!”

“Eek.” Fluttershy said.

Some time later, once the thunderheads had been cleared, Rainbow Dash circled down to her friend's cottage. It had been a long night's work, and Rainbow knew she could crash on Fluttershy's couch instead of making her way all the way home. Not to mention Fluttershy always something good in the back of her fridge.

“Uh, hello?” Rainbow Dash said into Fluttershy's cottage. “Anypony home?” Something crunched beneath the pegasus' hoof, and she glanced downwards at the broken glass. Rainbow Dash felt a twising in her stomach she knew wasn't caused by hunger as she put it all together: broken furniture, open door, shattered windows...

“Ohmygosh.” Rainbow Dash squeaked. “Fluttershy's been kidnapped!”

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