• Published 27th Apr 2014
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Friendship Harder: Collected Microfiction - KwirkyJ



Collection of stories too short to publish individually. There is ostensibly no consistent underlying theme.

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A Visit From Death [Slice of Life]

One of the things about Death is that he often arrived at terribly inopportune moments. Perhaps in the middle of court, in the dead of night, or when in the water closet (though he would politely wait outside). His coming would always be abrupt, but unmistakable. It was of a small relief to Celestia that he came at a time where she need not make any excuses. The sharpness in the air, the hint of coldness with a suggestion at a scent of nutmeg, told her of his presence before he spoke.

I trust that now is not a bad time?

Celestia folded her wings, set her lifted limbs upon the floor, and returned her consciousness to her body.

"You've done far worse. I was simply meditating."

A curious pose.

"It is one I have taken a liking to of late. I find it surprisingly relaxing."

I must take you at your word.

Celestia finally looked at him. Hooded, black, with features obscured and more imagined than visible. The cloak that surrounded him draped over curious shapes, never the same twice. She wondered at the magic that must surround him, sometimes.

"Tea?" she offered, already moving towards the fireplace.

She filled the kettle and set it over the flames in silence, listening to Death settle near the table.

"Who is it, this time," she asked, taking a cushion across him.

Skeleton Key. Time for him to open his final doorway. Unlocking the final truth.

"Practicing?" She lifted an eyebrow.

There are many idioms. I try to keep them fresh. You don't mind.

"No, I don't at that. I will miss him. He has been a good guardspony."

I will pass along your praise.

"I... Thank you. Even after all these times, the nature of your work unsettles me."

Try not to think on it too much, then.

They lapsed into silence, simply basking in each others' company. The fire crackled in the background, the water churning ever more agitatedly.

"How is War?"

As bigoted as ever, keeping himself far away from you, said Death. You might have at least apologized when you sent him away.

"Family though he may be, you know I will never do any such thing."

Death made a gesture that suggested a shrug.

"Besides, this too shall pass."

An excuse?

"An inevitability. I have created a paradise here. I know it won't last forever, and when it crumbles, he will assuredly lead the charge, rubbing it in my face for all it is worth."

I recall a filly telling me of the forever she would bring into being.

"That filly was... Idealistic," she finished. "Forgive me."

Nothing to forgive.

The teapot began whistling. Celestia rose, and Death mirrored her.

"You aren't staying for tea, are you?"

No time. Sorry.

"I understand."

Celestia lifted the kettle away from the fire. She felt him leaving, but not yet gone.

"Death?" she called, not turning to find him.

Yes?

"...Nothing."

Until again, Princess.

"Until again."

Author's Note:

Written for the Thirty Minute Ponies Legacy Prompt 17, It's good to be the princess. The connection to the prompt is weaker than I'd like, but that is not the greatest failing, here.

To any wondering the possible horsemen thing involving Death, War, and the other two: Celestia may be Conquest, Luna may be Famine. I wrote them in thirty minutes and my "immortals are all family" and "the first rule of immortality is that you will ultimately die" didn't quite make it in.

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