• Published 27th Apr 2014
  • 24,392 Views, 663 Comments

In the Sun's Shadow - Polaris501



The past always comes back to haunt the present, there is no escaping the inevitable. For decades, Celestia has kept a secret from her student. A secret she made out of pain, and through pain will be revealed for all to see; for Twilight Sparkle is

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Prologue: A Decision

City of Canterlot

17 Years Before the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration


It was the time between day and night, the end of light and the beginning of darkness, fitting for the act she was about to carry out.

The mare was average size at first appearance, and hung back in an alleyway as ponies trotted past. She wore a thick brown cloak with holes for her wings with the hood hiding her face. Her coat was the color of freshly fallen snow, and looked as soft as clouds to any that would look at her, highlighting the almost fluffy pink tail. Her face was hidden in the cowl of the cloak, but if a pony were to look closely, they would have seen two magenta eyes underneath a pink mane that sparkled with intelligence.

If one looked even closer, they would have seen the tears as well.

There were few ponies left on the street at this time of day. Many slept or were holed up in buildings, their windows softly lit as the sun made its descent on the distant horizon. Very few ponies watched the stars awake or the moon arise to shepherd the night.

The silent mare watched as a young couple slipped past her and trotted quietly down the street, oblivious to the rest of the world as they rounded the corner, and fell out of sight.

The street was finally empty.

The mare stepped out of the shadows slowly and checked the street again, her magenta eyes sweeping the city like a lighthouse searching for ships in the dark sea. A small bundle was on her back, tightly held between her wings like a basket.

Or a cradle.

In the dimming light of the dying day, as the sky turned to lavender and stars began sparkling their greeting to the world below. The mare trotted quickly, but silently, her hooves barely making a sound on the cobblestone as she approached her destination.

It was not a poor building, but neither could one say it was well off either. It was the type of building that didn’t attract the attention of admirers nor gain the pity of those seeing a ruin, in short, it was an everyday building that ponies passed by and let the memory of said building slip through their minds, never to remember.

It was perfect.

The white mare reached the doorstep and stopped, her head turning slightly under the hood as she once again appraised the street for errant ponies. Making sure of her isolation, she turned her head towards the distant horizon where the sun glowed like a dying ember.

A faint golden glow illuminated her features slightly as a horn lit up underneath the cloak. As if sighing in relief, the sun sank gently below the horizon, leaving the sky to fade into darkness as the orb slumbered and rested, waiting for the new day.

The mare turned then, to the opposite horizon, and the glow continued as the moon arose and graced the night sky with its presence. A scar in the shape of an ancient mare marred its pearly face as the orb ascended. Underneath the gentle light of the moon, more tears fell down the mare’s face as the golden glow died and the stars danced in the sky.

Facing back towards the building where she stood, she looked up at the sign that could barely be read in the dwindled light.

Tender Heart Orphanage

Without a sound, the bundle on the mares back lifted in a gentle glow and came around to rest in her snowy hooves. The mare looked down into her bundle and stared at its contents, as if memorizing it, branding it into her mind like burning iron pressed into wood, scarring it so as to never be forgotten.

It was a foal.

She had a lavender coat with a short horn that parted her hair. Her mane was a dark shade of purple with a pink highlight running down like an arrow through the straight and orderly strands. The foal’s eyes were closed, and she breathed gently as her chest rose and fell in her slumber.

I am so sorry.

Slowly, as if regretting every inch she put between her and the foal, she lowered the sleeping child until she rested upon the doorstep.

Reaching with her magic the mare pulled out a small piece of parchment from within the folds of her cloak and carefully placed it in-between the folds of the blanket in which the foal slept.

It had only two words on it.

Twilight Sparkle

There was nothing more to be done, and yet still she lingered. Sitting as still as the statues that watched over the city, as if frozen in time and place. She stayed there for several minutes, thought it felt like hours, and still she did not move, not even appearing to breath.

Breaking the trance, the cloaked pony lifted up its gaze and turned around, her pink tail brushing the foal slightly as she left. She traced the path she had made earlier and found herself upon the entrance back into an alleyway when a noise broke the quiet of the night.

The foal was softly crying.

Again she stood still, a fore hoof lifted in pause as the foal gently cried behind her. Setting it down gently, she looked back slowly, as if torn between the alleyway and the child on the doorstep. Her eyes flashed as she could no longer wait and her gaze once again found the foal.

Two small magenta eyes stared back at her.

The foal’s lips were trembling as small tears escaped her wide eyes, her hooves reaching out to the empty air in front of her, searching for the mare that was not there.

It’s not too late.

A decision had to be made, one which the mare thought she had already decided upon. But faced with the actual event, her thoughts betrayed her and regret assaulted her conscious.

Only the sound of the child’s cry drifted through the street as the mare contemplated. The night itself seemed to hold its breath as she juggled her choices, as if glaring down in contempt upon the white mare.

She made her decision.

Like glass breaking the moment was over, and the mare turned back down the alleyway, her bright coat disappearing in the darkness of the city.

The child’s cries broke into a desperate wail.

But nopony answered.

Author's Note:

Enjoy! This first chapter is out, and more are going to follow, but future chapters will not be updated until after the MLP:FiM Season 4 finale since some of the story dialogue and plot points will depend on it. Until then, enjoy this glimpse of what is to come. Comments are welcome, but please remain civil towards myself and fellow commenters.